How to write a graduate cover letter

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DATE:
18 July 2020
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A cover letter is an important part of your application process and demonstrates to both the employer and recruiter how much effort you have put into researching the business, your passion and reasons to why you want to be successful for the position. The correct format, salutation, dates and length all make a difference to the reader. Don’t forget to check for spelling mistakes too!

Take a look at our example and discover how to write a cover letter that gets you an interview. 

To see the full version you can download the template below

Address & Dates

You want to start by having your own address displayed on the right hand side of your cover letter. Your future employers address details should be displayed on the left hand side about 2 lines down. Adding in the name of the hiring manager/person in charge of applicants should be displayed before the address (see above example). Don’t forget to add the date too!

Salutation

Who is the cover letter to be addressed to? Is this the hiring manager, CEO or PA? Try and get the name of the person as this presents better and is more personal than “Dear Sir/Madam”. It also makes the cover letter appear more tailored and not general.

Structure

Structure out your cover letter well so it is easy for the employer to read. Start by mentioning your interest for applying for the position and where you saw it advertised or how you came about to be informed about the role. This should be a short summary so 4 -5 sentences is great.

Then move on to discuss your current situation and previous roles. Are you a recent graduate or are you in your final year still studying? Talk about previous work experience and highlight the ones which are more relevant to this role. 

As you progress further, expand on your company knowledge. Do they have particular ethos that resonate well with you. If so, list them. How can you make a difference to the company? What can you bring to the table? This is your chance to list all the reasons to separate yourself from other applicants.

As you approach the end of your cover letter you can end on a note of “I look forward to hearing from you soon” or similar. If you addressed the cover letter to an individual you would also include “Yours sincerely”. If you were unable to get a contact name then it would be “Yours faithfully”. Finally, add in a signature before you put your name at the end. You can do this online using simple tools such as Adobe.

Length

Your cover letter should be 1 page. Remember the employer should be able to see your expanded information such as work experience and academic background in your actual CV. They will also know more about you if you have recorded your video vitae to support your application. Finally you can choose to send the format to your future employer by Word or PDF. PDF does look more professional and if you need a free easy tool to convert your document, I love PDF is great. Use this as a guide. Ultimately, each sector varies and the presentation of your CV will do the same. 

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