Writing Application Letters

The Purpose of Application/Cover Letters
  • Also known as a cover letter, an application letter is a summary of your strongest and most relevant skills and abilities that will be expanded in your resume or selection criteria.
  • It introduces you to potential employers and highlights your suitability for the position you are applying for.
  • A cover letter accompanies your CV as part of most job applications.
  • It provides the hiring manager with further detail on how your skill set aligns with the role, what you can bring to the team and why you want the position.
  • Cover letters also allow the recruiter and hiring manager to develop a better understanding of your suitability for a position.
  • Your cover letter will often make the first impression in the mind of a hiring manager, making it an essential part of your application.
  • In addition to this, employers tend to favour CVs that are accompanied by a cover letter and will often specifically request one as a mandatory requirement to apply for their vacancies.
How to write an application/cover letter

A good cover letter will increase your chances of being invited for an interview with the hiring manager. Below we go through ten key tips for maximum impact:

  • Address the contact mentioned in the job advert

Take care when addressing your cover letter to ensure it is received by the correct person and make it clear which role you are applying for. If you don’t know the name of the hiring manager, either ask the recruiter, or simply write ‘To whom it may concern’.


  • Outline your current job situation and why you want to move on

If you are currently employed, explain the reasons for your interest in the new role in the cover letter, whether that be career progression, personal interests, or even that you are just looking for a change. If you are between jobs or have previous employment gaps on your CV, use the cover letter to highlight the reasons for your interest, but also ensure you are upfront as to why you have been out of employment previously.


  • Show you’ve done your research

Being able to demonstrate an understanding of the company’s history, their area of business and the work they do, to an employer, reflects your level of interest in the role. Someone who has clearly made an effort to find out more about a company and referenced this in their cover letter will be viewed by the hiring manager as a more committed candidate than one who has not. Be sure to look through the company website, find out what you can about the company’s culture, and come prepared to discuss its history and its evolution.


  • State why you are interested in working for them as an employer

Use the cover letter to demonstrate how the role will impact your greater career goals: how will you be able to use your skills and grow within the organization? Make sure you can articulate the reasons why you want to work for the company and include them in your cover letter.


  • Tell them why they should be interested in you as an employee

Most top candidates will be skilled and hardworking professionals, so it’s important to consider why you would be the perfect candidate and communicate this in your cover letter. Highlight your past accomplishments and any additional skills that would benefit the organisation if you were selected to fill the position.

  • Tailor your cover letter to the job and avoid repetition

If you’re applying for multiple roles, don’t fall into the trap of reusing the same cover letter. It should be tailored to the role you are applying for and in line with the job description and company’s personality. Look at the advertisement for the job skills they require.


  • Make sure it’s neat, brief, and typo free

A typed, one page and error-free cover letter is expected. If your cover letter contains spelling mistakes, your CV will very quickly find itself in the ‘no pile’, regardless of how experienced or skilled you are.


  • End by politely expressing interest in further dialogue

Invite them to get in touch or make reference to speaking further in an interview to emphasize your keenness to join the team. If you don’t hear back, send a follow-up email or call the interviewer to touch base.