The job search is a difficult endeavour. A key element in being successful at it is the cover letter. The cover letter allows you to present yourself directly to a company. If you’re looking for a job, you can benefit hugely from a good cover letter, which will increase the likelihood of being called back to undertake a job interview.
To write a cover letter for the UK, many of the tips and tricks available to read in our general cover letter section apply. However, there is some specific advice that will help you successfully overcome the job application process in Britain.
Tips to writing a good UK cover letter
The following advice will help you to write a cover letter for the UK job market, whether it’s for a specific job offer or for a speculative application.
- Understand the structural requirements of a UK cover letter. You can learn about these in our page on how to write a cover letter for the UK.
- Research the company as much as possible, what they do, what human resources policies they have, how they organise their work, if they stand out in any particular job sector or if they have been in the news recently for any reason. Use this information to your advantage in the cover letter because it will demonstrate your interest in addition to personalising the letter.
- Highlight the most important parts of your CV, making sure they are relevant to the job position. If you won a prize but the award has nothing to do with the job that you are applying to, you do not need to highlight it. Remember, the cover letter has a limited length, you don’t want to waste space with irrelevant information. If you would like to learn more about writing a good CV for the UK job market then visit our dedicated page.
- The language of the cover letter should be direct, clear and concise. You can use your own person jargon but be careful. You do not know the person who you are sending the cover letter to so you should use a formal tone.
- Do not make spelling mistakes. Many candidates are automatically rejected due to a badly written cover letter or through spelling mistakes. Check your cover letter as many as is necessary, but make sure that there is not one single error!
- Be creative and original. Imagine how many candidates potential employers have to review for every job application process and the quantity of cover letters that the human resources team have to read. Try to stand out from the first paragraph. If your letter is too similar to the rest of candidates you will not stand out.
- Present yourself as someone who can offer their unique services to a company, rather than just a desperate plea for the job. Try not to seem desperate even though you may be. One must give the image of a professional in every sense.
- Do no forget to sign the cover letter with your full name.
- Always send the cover letter in PDF format. Not all computers have the same versions of Microsoft Word, Pages or Open Office.
- Regarding the style of the cover letter, it is better to be formal than informal. The difference is mainly in the form in which you address the reader. An informal cover letter provides a feeling of closeness, but is not regarded highly by employers. To know the style that you should use, you must research the company, it’s culture, and it’s human resources policies.
Back to the UK cover letter