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 advice on tailoring your cover letter