How to write an attention grabbing cover letter

Cover letters that create a good first impression are well constructed, don’t contain any spelling mistakes or bad grammar, and support what you are saying in your CV.

Your cover letter is an important part of your job application and it should be tailored to each individual role you are applying for; using a generic cover letter is not going to wow your prospective employer.

Sending your cover letter by email is much more popular than mailing it in the post. Here is a template cover letter email you can tailor to fit the role you are applying for.

Template cover letter example

Email subject line:

{insert job title}, {insert job reference if applicable}: XXXXXX application – {insert your full name}

Section 1 - introduction:

Dear {Sir/Madam OR company contact name},                 

I am writing to apply for your {insert job title} role as advertised on the {insert where you saw the vacancy advertised} and enclose my CV for your consideration.

Section 2 – main body:

Here you need to select 3-5 key requirements from the job description and explain to your potential employer how you meet their criteria, directly matching your skills and experience to the job. It may help to write a short paragraph for each of the 3-5 requirements you have selected.

You should use this section to identify your unique selling points; what makes you stand out from other applicants and how these will benefit the company.

Don’t forget about your transferable skills. If this is your first job or you are changing careers think about relevant skills you may have gained at university or in previous roles, e.g. communication skills, leadership qualities, working as part of a team etc.

Section 3 - conclusion:

I hope that, on consideration of my CV, you will be persuaded of my potential to perform well and to make a real contribution as a member of your company. Please do not hesitate to call me on {insert telephone number} to discuss this further.

I look forward to hearing from you.

{Yours faithfully OR Yours sincerely},

Your full name
Telephone number
Email address
LinkedIn profile link

Key things to consider

Your cover letter is not just a repeat of your CV, it should summarise in a clear and concise way why you are a perfect fit for the role. It is vitally important that you tailor your cover letter to the position.

Keep your cover letter to one side of A4. Write your letter in MS Word first as this will help you keep it short and will also help with spelling and grammar checks. When it is finished you can paste the content into an email.

Keep the format consistent. If you use the same font and text size on your covering letter and CV it will look neat and professional.

Cover letter example in action

Email subject line:

Senior Java Developer, job reference: IP23365-JE application – John Smith

Dear Emma Jones,

I am writing to apply for your Senior Java Developer role as advertised on the IntaPeople website and enclose my CV for your consideration.

As you will notice from my CV, I am currently working as a Lead Developer for a leading provider of IT/network consulting and professional services in Cardiff. I have seven years’ experience within the IT industry and four years’ working on Java based projects.

In my current role I am responsible for designing, coding and testing new features and system components, using agreed standards and tools. Within this position I am using the latest Java EE technologies such as Spring Boot, Thymeleaf and Reactor.

The Senior Java Developer role involves leading a small team and this is something I’m more than comfortable with. I have a friendly and personable manner, and I’m able to explain technical concepts to all level of stakeholders in an easy to understand way.

I am looking for an opportunity to progress my career and your Senior Java Developer role would give me the responsibility and progression I’m looking for. I feel that my extensive industry experience and technical knowledge would be a valuable asset to your business.

I hope that, on consideration of my CV, you will be persuaded of my potential to perform well and to make a real contribution as a member of your company. Please do not hesitate to call me on 029 20 252 500 to discuss this further.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith
029 20 252 500
john.smith@gmail.com
www.linkedin.com/john.smith

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