Cover letter writing for graduates
Most graduates will have limited work experience and so their covering letter is often considered more by recruiters than their CV. This is why it is essential that you get it right.
What format to use
Always use a formal letter format for a covering or speculative letter. You want to be taken seriously rather than appearing to be simply sending a note on a whim.
Try to address your letter to the person who is responsible for hiring but if you don’t have a contact name, ‘Dear sir/madam’ should be your starting point.
What to include
You want to tell a would-be employer why they should give you a job in a clear, concise and well-written manner. Tell them the reasons you want to work for the company and the role in particular. Explain what makes you an ideal candidate.
Make sure that the letter you write is role-specific but don’t be worried about repeating some of what you’ve said in your CV. If it’s relevant then put it in.
Try to say something about the company involved to demonstrate your research but do keep the whole thing concise. You should outline your career objectives if relevant, together with your skills but you don’t want the reader to give up half way through an ‘autobiography’.
Finish off the letter by politely stating your desire to have further dialogue about the role and don’t forget to get someone else to read the finished item before you send it off. You want to be remembered for your concise and informative approach; not for your bad spelling and poor grammar.