When it comes to writing a cover letter there’s no one way that will work every time – but there is a template which is likely to see you make sure you aren’t missing out anything critically important. 

If you follow these three basic steps, you should be able to put together a letter that appeals to your potential employer: 

Do Your Research 

Research is crucial in any role, so it only stands to reason you should do plenty on the company you’re going to apply to before you begin to write your cover letter. 

Make sure you have a decent understanding of exactly what the company does, how they’re performing in the current market and even the types of competitors they might have. 

This has several benefits, including: 

Tailoring your letter to the company’s exact expectations. 

Showing a passion – you’ve gone out of your way to learn about them. 

Better understanding of what this job might require of you in the future. 

If you put in this background work behind the scenes, you’re giving yourself a considerably better chance of grabbing the employer’s attention. This will potentially end up with you securing a new job, so well worth the effort. 

Writing the Letter 

First things first – always try and find an exact name to address a letter to. This will show an awareness that instantly makes a good subconscious impression with the person you’re contacting. 

Naturally, if you’re unsure you have two options: 

Phone the company to find out who you should address the letter to – this is good as it shows initiative. 

Back yourself and use the name you think it might be – this could be disastrous if it’s wrong. Are you happy to take the risk? 

From here an opening paragraph should contain a snappy snippet of information which informs the employer exactly why it is you’re writing – unsurprisingly, this will almost certainly be in order to apply for the role (it isn’t all rocket science). 

After that, you can follow a pattern which sees you format your letter into key sections – breaking them off into paragraphs. An example might include: 

A first paragraph which describes why you would be suited for the job, listing all your professional and personal qualifications. 

Follow this up with a section which outlines your future career ambitions – and do your best to link it to points you’ve already made in your CV. 

Emphasise why you’d be perfect for the role and state that you’d like to meet with the potential employer for an interview. 

Close the letter with a formal but polite sign-off (something along the lines of “Yours sincerely” or “Many thanks”). 

Present Your Letter in Style 

There isn’t too much of a trick when it comes to this one – just ensure you follow these basic steps to guarantee an employer will not be put off by your letter: 

Choose a font like Arial or Calibri which is easy to read and doesn’t stand out for the wrong reasons. 

Follow the suggested pattern above (or a similar one) to make sure you aren’t presenting a mass of text – this will turn the employer away from the application. 

Don’t make it too long. This is in keeping with the previous point somewhat, but it’s important not to fill the page with too much info. Be concise and to the point from the get-go. 

When it comes to the word count, anything over 500 is getting excessive, whilst a number below 300 might not be enough to effectively get your point across.