Careers Service

Covering letters - when to use them and what to include

When sending a CV in response to an advertised job or for a speculative application, you usually need to include a covering letter.

  • The CV provides the facts and figures to support your application. It is a formal, targeted, business-like document, tailored to the needs of the reader.
  • The covering letter is your personal sales pitch. It is more personal, where you introduce yourself as a candidate and discuss why you want the job.

Covering letters should be tailored for each job.

In brief it should cover:

  1. Why you are applying to this company? - What makes them stand out from other similar companies?
  2. Why you are applying for this role? - Your motivation for applying, show your understanding of the role.
  3. The skills and experience you have that match the job description.

Get feedback

Use our Applications Advice service to get some feedback on your cover letter before you send it off.