Use a Cover Letter Format Recruiters Love
53% of employers say that they want to see a cover letter accompanying any CV they receive. In fact, the only thing more important to recruiters than your cover letter is your CV. The right cover letter format guarantees that recruiters will want to get to know you better.
The Best UK Cover Letter Format
Your cover letter is your chance to stand out for all the right reasons with prospective employers. By choosing the best cover letter format, you’ll make the best possible first impression.
The best UK cover letter format will always include:
- Your contact details.
- A paragraph detailing your skills and experience.
- A description of who you are and what you can bring to the position.
- A paragraph showing you understand specifically what the recruiter is looking for.
- A closing paragraph that leaves a positive impression and invites further contact.
The best cover letter format also:
- Is short - no longer than one side of A4. Recruiters simply don’t have the time to read through anything longer.
- Use clear, legible fonts. This makes your cover letter easy to read.
- Uses just one colour, and matches the CV template you’ve chosen.
In addition to these basic principles, your cover letter should also be tailored to the job or industry in question. Legal, financial and accounting positions generally call for a more formal approach, but recruiters in creative arts, fashion, or design may be happy with a less formal document.
It’s a lot to consider! But you’re not alone – check out our hand-picked cover letter samples to see which cover letter formats your peers are using.
20 Top UK Cover Letter Layouts & Formats
The right cover letter layout will convince recruiters that your application is worth looking at in depth.
Our football manager cover letter layout will showcase your passion for the game, highlight your experience, and make it easy for recruiters to focus on your most impressive achievements.
As an accountant you’ll be expected to display accuracy, precision, and a grasp of detail. Your cover letter structure will be a practical demonstration of these exact requirements.
Our cover letter layout for a managerial position is clear and concise. It should show that you understand the demands of management, and have delivered impressive results.
The position of night nurse requires a combination of specific qualifications and a caring, empathetic nature. Our cover letter format will allow you to demonstrate both of these.
Our optometrist cover letter format needs to meet the professional standards expected. It will demonstrate that you have the qualifications needed for the role, and a clear understanding of the industry.
Our nurse cover letter uses a format that highlights your qualifications, the key skills you bring, and the passion you have for helping patients.
A successful lawyer cover letter should show clarity, precision, and the level of formality expected by legal recruiters. Our format will help to convey your professional approach.
Our professional business analyst cover letter layout will showcase your understanding of the world of business and your passion for in-depth analysis. The format will be clear and concise.
Any application for a data analyst position will need to show your ability to set information out clearly and highlight the important details. Our cover letter format makes this easy to do.
A software engineer will have specific knowledge of the industry in question. Our professionally designed cover letter layout will make it easier to demonstrate this knowledge in a concise, readable way.
Any application for a project manager position will have to showcase your experience. Our cover letter format will make it easy for a recruiter to see your most impressive achievements.
A data scientist job application will have to show experience, expertise, and the ability to organise information clearly. Our professional cover letter format will do all of this in a single page.
Our operations manager cover letter layout will make it easy for recruiters to discover what experience you have. At the same time, it helps to express the personality you bring to the role.
Business development manager
Our business development cover letter format clearly highlights your key achievements in business development. It appeals to both recruiters and ATS filters.
Full stack developer
As a full stack developer, your cover letter will need to detail the qualifications you have and explain why you are right for the role. Our cover letter layout can achieve both of these.
A product manager cover letter needs to detail the most important products you’ve managed and the results you achieved. Our cover letter layout does this in a concise and readable format.
Our recruiter cover letter layout allows you to demonstrate that you know what the job of a recruiter entails, and have the experience and attitude for the position in question.
An application for an executive assistant requires a cover letter format that’s completely professional. Our cover letter formats demonstrate the experience and skills required.
Our marketing manager cover letter layout will make it easy to highlight your best marketing results, with plenty of room to showcase the personal attributes you’ll bring to the role.
As a production manager you’ll have to demonstrate competence, strategic planning and a professional attitude. Using our professional cover letter format will highlight all of these attributes.
10 Common Cover Letter Format Mistakes
Recruiters read thousands of cover letters. Make sure that your application stands out for the right reasons by avoiding these common mistakes:
1. Writing more than one A4 page
Keep your cover letter short and to the point. The recruiter needs to be able to tell, at a glance, that you’re a serious candidate with a professional approach.
2. Using an experimental layout
Trying to create a new layout that means the cover letter isn’t recognisable as a cover letter anymore, and can make it harder for recruiters to find relevant information. An unusual format will make you stand out, but in the wrong way.
3. Choosing ‘creative’ fonts
Creative fonts may feel right for creative positions, but an effective cover letter format is all about conveying the key information quickly and clearly. Unusual fonts are a distraction.
4. Using lots of colours and images
Keep things clean and simple to create the best first impression. The recruiter won’t be expecting a photograph, and colours and images will only clutter the cover letter you’ve written.
5. Providing too much information
Your cover letter needs to complement your CV, not repeat it. It’s your chance to use the right format to sell yourself quickly and powerfully as a ‘taster’ for the more detailed CV.
6. Writing dense blocks of text
Dense blocks of text can disrupt ATS, and put recruiters off from reading your cover letter. Instead, your cover letter structure should be several short, high-impact paragraphs.
7. Including too many achievements
The right cover letter structure won’t have the space to include a detailed list of achievements. Pick one -; two at most - that’s the most relevant and impressive.
Including complaints will make your cover letter seem unprofessional and whiny. It should be a 100% positive summary of what you can offer a new employer.
9. Telling jokes
Not everybody will share your sense of humour, so what you think is a funny quip might come across as juvenile and unprofessional. Leave the jokes off your cover letter.
10. Not customising your cover letter
Your cover letter has to be customised to relate to the role in question. Make sure the achievements, skills, and attributes you mention are 100% relevant.
The Top 3 Things Recruiters Want to See in Your Cover Letter
There’s no shortage of advice from recruitment experts on what they look for in cover letters. Here are the three most important things a recruiter looks for:
1. A standard cover letter layout
Recruiters spend an average of just 6 seconds reading a CV, so you can assume your cover letter won’t get much more time. A standard cover letter structure makes it quick and easy for recruiters to pick out the key points.
2. A font that’s easy to read
A clear and easily readable font will encourage recruiters to spend more time reading your cover letter. It will also have the added bonus of making it easier for any ATS the organisation uses to pick out the keywords you’ve chosen to feature after studying the job ad and description.
3. A short letter with relevant information only
A recruiter who has to read through thousands of cover letters hasn’t got the time to read your life story. Keep your cover letter layout short by only including relevant information. Anything longer than a single side of A4 is highly unlikely to make it past more than a quick glance.
Why You Should Use an Online Cover Letter Format
If you’re not an expert in the field, then learning how to write a cover letter in Word or other standard document types can be difficult, time-consuming and frustrating.
Our online cover letter formats have been designed by industry experts in each industry to meet recruiters’ expectations. They’re also quick and easy to use, leaving you free to concentrate on the actual content of the letter.
The font, colour scheme and layout will have been chosen to create a completely professional impression at first glance. The structure will make it easy to organise the content in a way that emphasises your unique skillset. And tools like our online cover letter builder make it quick and easy to access and edit your cover letter at any time, using any device.
2 Key Questions UK Candidates Ask About Cover Letters
How do you properly format a cover letter?
To properly format a cover letter, you must make it extremely clear and easy to follow at first glance. The information should be broken down into the following sections:
- Contact details and greeting.
- Introductory paragraph.
- Details of relevant qualifications and experience.
- A positive closing paragraph underling why you are right for the position.
- Your signature.
See examples of properly formatted cover letters
How do I write a good cover letter?
Write a good cover letter by customising it for each position. Then make sure that it meets all of these basic criteria:
- It should be clear and concise.
- The content should be set out in clearly defined sections, using tools like bullet points and lists which make it easy for a recruiter to find key information with a glance or skim-read.
- It should include the keywords that are relevant to the position. Without these, your letter won’t make it past either an ATS or a recruiter.
- A short and direct statement about what you offer as a candidate, and why you’re the ideal person for the position.
- Current contact details.
See examples of good cover letters.
Choose a Cover Letter Format with Maximum Impact
Your cover letter is key to unlocking an exciting new stage in your working life. Get the format and structure exactly right and you’ll appeal to recruiters, making them eager to learn more by studying your CV in depth.
Our online cover letter builder and cover letter formats remove the stress and hard work from the process, making it quick and easy for you to build a perfect cover letter. Start building your cover letter now, and build an application that recruiters won’t be able to resist.