A covering letter can leave even the most experienced CV writer unsure as to what to say. The key to writing your covering letter is to take into account that employers and recruiters will see hundreds of them. If your covering letter is too short, it may appear rushed. Too long, and you risk losing the reader’s attention.
As mentioned, the length of your covering letter is important. If it runs over a single page then you should consider cutting it down. A covering letter is a chance to highlight key points in your CV, but should be brief and to the point. It should not repeat what can be found in the CV, but it can summarise key points.
Two or three concise paragraphs are generally considered the ideal length.
As well as being addressed to the correct person, each cover letter should be up to date and tailored to the role and company you are applying for. You don’t need to rewrite it from scratch, but each letter should have some personal touches which demonstrate that you are serious about the role. Do not highlight things that are not relevant to the position.
A formal letter means signing if off correctly. It also means you should add both your address and that of the company you are applying to.
Before you sign off, add a simple sentence which says something upbeat. For example, you could say how much you look forward to finding more about the role. Try to avoid clichés and find a unique way of expressing yourself.
As with your CV, make sure you spell check and proof read your letter carefully.