One of the first impressions that you will be able to give to an employer may be in a letter.
When to write a letter
- to accompany a CV or application form – this will be your chance to explain why you are suitable for the job you are applying for. This is called a covering letter.
- to apply for jobs not advertised – many jobs are not advertised in local papers and online so it would be a good idea to write to an employer you would like to work for.
- to request an application form – not always essential but may be required to request further details of an advertised vacancy
Tips for writing letters for jobs
Here are some tips to make sure your letter hits the mark:
- be concise and to-the-point - an ideal covering letter should be three to four paragraphs long and on one side of A4
- include the title of the job it is that you are applying for and quote the reference number from the advert
- in the first paragraph explain why you are writing the letter - for example, to request an application form
- in the second paragraph explain why the job interests you to show you have some understanding of what is required
- in the third paragraph explain why you are suitable for the job, including relevant skills you have gained from jobs, hobbies or education.
- make sure you include your full name, address, telephone number and email address on both the letter and your CV.
- using a clear typeface such as Arial or Times New Roman will make your letter easy to read and present a professional image
- it's a good idea to end the letter with 'I look forward to hearing from you' or 'I would be happy to discuss any vacancies with you at your convenience'. This will encourage the person reading the letter to get back to you.
- if your letter is not addressed to a specific person (i.e. if it is addressed 'Dear Sir or Madam') you should sign off 'Yours faithfully'; if it is addressed to a specific person (e.g. 'Dear Mr Smith') you should sign off 'Yours sincerely'.