Need help? Here's how we can support you with your cover letters.
If you’ve struggled with cover letters in the past and you’re worried they’re holding you back, we can help.
Step 1: Use the information below to write your cover letter
Step 2: Upload your cover letter to CareerSet for immediate feedback
- Make sure you read the whole of the feedback report, not just the bullet point highlights
- Edit your cover letter and reupload - repeat as many times as you like
Step 3: If you have a specific question that CareerSet can’t help you with, upload your cover letter to your documents on Handshake and message the careers Information Team, requesting a review.
We do not offer a repeat cover letter 'checking' service, so when you have applied the feedback, you should return to CareerSet to help further refine your cover letter.
Read the Talk to Us page for more information about our support.
Postgraduate students should also visit the Graduate Research School's Applications and interviews page.
A cover letter (or covering letter) is a document that accompanies your CV when you are applying for jobs. It’s a chance for you to expand on your CV and explain why you’re interested in and qualified for the job.
It’s unlikely that you’ll actually post a job application, but even when emailing an application many employers still prefer you to attach a cover letter and CV, rather than put the content of your cover letter in the body of your email.
Saying that, don’t worry too much. Just do what the employer asks you to do. If they say to apply with a CV and cover letter, attach a CV and cover letter to your email. If you’re unsure, ask us.
Set out your cover letter as a formal letter. That means your name and address on the top right and the address of the employer on the left. Include the job title and/or job application reference. Sign off your letter ‘Yours faithfully’ or ‘Yours sincerely’ depending on who you have addressed the letter to (‘Yours sincerely’ when your letter is addressed to a person, ‘Yours faithfully’ when your letter is addressed to the organisation or ‘Sir/Madam’).
Unless you’re told otherwise, keep your cover letter brief. One side of A4 is enough. Here’s a general structure:
A lot of jobs are never advertised; sometimes a job may even be created for you if you are the right person. Read our advice on sending speculative applications: