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A good cover letter for job applications can be the difference between getting the call and missing out. It acts as an introduction to your application, highlighting why you’re a great fit for the job at hand with specific skills and experience that make a recruiter want to find out more.
If you’re unsure about cover letter structure, format, or just what to include, myPerfectCV can lend a hand. We’ve put together a free guide with the best cover letter tips, ideas, templates, and examples to give you a head start on writing your own professional UK cover letter.
Cover letter examples
Be inspired by our cover letter examples and pip other professionals to the post with your outstanding skills and experience.
Cover letter templates
Crack the code to a cover letter that’s packed with detail and personality with our premade cover letter templates. Choose a template and personalise it to build a cover letter that shows off your career successes, personality, and future career aspirations.
Cover letter tips
From who to address to design ideas, our cover letter tips will make it easier to write a cover letter for your CV that gets recruiters interested.
Use an appropriate cover letter design
First things first, it’s important to choose an appropriate design for your cover letter, including both the layout and font. Your cover letter layout should be similar to a formal letter but with your name and contact details listed clearly at the top. Much like a UK CV, keep design features to a minimum, perhaps using a larger font or a pop of colour at the top to emphasise your name. Finally, stick to a simple font like Arial or Calibri to underline your professionalism and keep everything easy to read.
Address the recruiter or hiring manager
Starting a cover letter can seem daunting. If you’re wondering who to address a cover letter to, it’s simply the person who’s in charge of the recruitment process. Quite often, this person will be named in the job listing to make things easier. Alternatively, you can address it ‘To the ‘Management of [Company Name]’ or go for a simple and formal ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ or ‘To Whom it May Concern’.
Customise your cover letter
It’s important to tailor your cover letter for job applications. While your CV lists the skills, experience, and qualifications you can offer for a range of roles and employers, your cover letter’s job is to make that relevant and attractive to a specific role or recruiter. Pick out specific responsibilities or company values from the job description that interest or excite you, and discuss how some of your skills or experience make you the perfect fit for the role and company in question.
Grab their attention
Remember, the person reading your cover letter is only human. There’s only so many times they can read the same opening statement like ‘I’m applying for the role of…’ Instead of stating the obvious, grab their attention by outlining some key skills or qualifications that they’re looking for in the opening sentence.
Do your research
With most recruiters looking for enthusiasm and a genuine interest in the job or industry, one of the best cover letter ideas is to include some knowledge of the company or role in question. That could be your understanding of their products or services, an alignment with their company values, or just an interest in the relevant industry or sector, for example.
How to write a cover letter
How to start a cover letter
Whether it’s for administration or investment banking, your cover letter should be addressed to the recruiter, hiring manager or management staff of the company. Sir or Madam is fine if you don’t know their name. Start by outlining why you’re getting in touch, including the specific job title, where you saw it advertised, and why it interested you.
What to write in a cover letter
All the best cover lAll the best cover letter examples have one thing in common. They take a candidate’s skills, experience, and qualifications, and demonstrate how they make them suitable for the job. That includes specific achievements in your career to show how the capabilities in your CV have been put into practice, and how they could add value to the company you’re applying to.
How to end a cover letter
The end of your cover letter should thank the recruiter for their time, or for considering your application, and express an anticipation to meet with them and talk about the role in more detail. For example, ‘Thank you for taking time to consider my application. I look forward to hearing from you’. After that, a simple ‘Yours sincerely’, followed by your name, is the best way to finish a professional cover letter.
How to end a cover letter
For cover letter format, UK applicants should start with the layout of professional letter. The name, address, and contact details of the recipient should be listed in the top-left of the page underneath the date, before the main body of the cover letter begins in basic, left-aligned text. You can add your own name, address and contact details above those of the recruiter, on the right-hand side of the page. However, many cover letter samples instead have the applicant’s name and details centred at the top of the page for more prominence.
FAQ About Cover Letter
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter is a document accompanying your CV. With traditional CVs handed over as physical copies, the cover letter was literally a front cover. However, even when sending your CV as a PDF or Word document, it’s still important to have a cover letter for your CV.
What is the purpose of a cover letter?
The essential purpose of a cover letter is to help you (and your CV) stand out. It allows you to tailor your application to a specific role or company, highlighting how your skills and experience are relevant to the job at hand, along with the passion and enthusiasm that shows why you’re applying.
How long should a cover letter be?
In terms of pages, your cover letter should be no longer than one page of A4 in length. However, that’s an absolute maximum. Most recruiters won’t want to read an entire page about you and your career. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to keep your cover letter around half a page in length – or four to five paragraphs.
What should a cover letter include?
As a basic guide, your cover letter should include:
- Your personal details including name, address, phone number and email address
- The job you’re applying for and where you found it
- Why you’re applying for the job
- Why you’re suitable for the job
- What you can offer to the company
- A closing statement to thank the recruiter and encourage a response
How to address a cover letter without a name
Whether it’s a speculative cover letter or you just can’t find a name on the job listing, there are a few ways to address a cover letter without a name:
- To Whom it May Concern
- Dear Sir or Madam
- To the Management Staff at [Company Name]
- To the Board of Directors at [Company Name]
What does a cover letter look like?
A cover letter looks very similar to a professional letter with the date, addresses and personal details at the top, followed by the main body and a sign off at the bottom. Many UK cover letter examples use a bold header for the candidate’s name and personal details, which is the main feature that differs from a traditional letter.
Make things easy with our cover letter maker
If you’re struggling for cover letter ideas, finding it difficult to get the right cover letter structure, or just baffled by the entire cover letter meaning, myPerfectCV is here to help. Our cover letter creator makes it quick and easy to build the best cover letter for your CV.
Simply enter your personal details, choose a UK cover letter template, then enter some details about your career and the job you’re applying for. Our cover letter maker will do the rest, putting you in pole position for your job application. Get started today!