1. How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job—Guide for 2024

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job—Guide for 2024

LiveCareer UK Editorial Team
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Many thoughts come across your mind when you start writing a cover letter. “Do I really need it?”, “It’s going to be hard, so maybe I’ll just skip it.” Or, sometimes, you sit down, and your mind suddenly goes blank. Some people decide to cheat slightly and just repeat whatever they’ve written on their resume.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

This guide will teach you how to write a cover letter correctly. Not only that, I’ll help you go through the process of writing your cover letter quickly and easily. With our expert tips on how to write a good cover letter, you’ll be able to illustrate your skills and wow the recruiters.

Use the LiveCareer cover letter builder and your cover letter will write itself. Choose a professional template, answer a few easy questions and the creator will generate a professional cover letter for you with just one click.

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Create your cover Letter nowCover letter template showing how to write a cover letter

Seeking more guidance on cover letter writing? These guides might help:

How to write a cover letter—example

Cindy Rowland

Administrative Assistant

8 Dipe Lane

West Boldon, NE36 0PX

078 6307 4954

your-name@email.com

linkedin.com/in/hermandrovvland

21 November 2022

Peter H. Watson

Human Resources Director

Hardy & Twardy Ltd

13 Union Street

Sunderland, SR1 3DR

Dear Peter,

As a CAA-certified administrative assistant with 5+ years of experience and a proven track record of reducing processing times by 20%, I am thrilled to apply to Hardy & Twardy Ltd for the Office Manager position. Your offer states you’re looking for someone experienced in optimizing production processes and streamlining budgets. And with my experience of negotiating lower equipment prices and managing department budgets resulting in a 10% reduction in expenditures, I firmly believe I would make a great fit.

As mentioned above, in my previous position as an administrative assistant at Gourds & Sandals, I was tasked with managing the company’s expenses. Not only have I managed to reduce the company’s expenditures, but my negotiation skills resulted in additional savings of about £10,000 per month. I have also streamlined the purchasing procedures, which resulted in a 22% decrease in processing time. Additionally, I have also identified an opportunity to implement a new scheduling software. It resulted in a 25% increase in overall company productivity. All of the above shows I take my work seriously and care about the results I deliver on behalf of my company.

Were you to hire me at Hardy & Twardy, I would bring that same drive and commitment with me each and every day. I’ve always been drawn to your company's firm belief in empowering employees to make complicated decisions on their own when needed. I would be incredibly fortunate to be considered for the position at a company whose work and culture reflect my own.

When would you have time for a quick phone call or meeting? I’d love to discuss how I could bring similar results to your company.

Sincerely,

Cindy Rowland

P.S. I’d love to tell you how I collaborated with other departments on a project which resulted in the implementation of a new internal communication system.

Now that you know what a cover letter looks like, let’s go through a step-by-step process of creating one so you know exactly how to write a cover letter in the UK:

1. Address the cover letter correctly by identifying the recipient

Addressing your cover letter may seem an easy task, but if you don’t know who you’re writing to, your cover letter is as good as none at all. Usually, here’s where you come across the first hurdle that needs to be jumped over. It’s easy to find all the data of the company, but what about the recruiter? If it’s not written in the job ad, I recommend you check the company’s LinkedIn page and website. You may even call the company and ask them yourself. That would surely show your determination.

How to write a cover letter—header sample

[Your First and Last Name]

[Your Job Title]

[Your Address]

[Phone Number]

[Email Address]

[LinkedIn Profile URL]

[Date of Writing]

[Hiring Manager’s First and Last Name]

[Hiring Manager’s Professional Title]

[Name of Company]

[Company Street Address]

[City, Postcode]

But why am I telling you to do this? That’s because starting a cover letter with the phrase to whom it may concern only shows your laziness. And this isn’t exactly what you want to show, is it? Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name], looks much better and sets you apart from the other candidates instantly.

If your efforts at finding the addressee are futile, you should still not write your cover letter salutation as “to whom it may concern.” Dear Hiring Manager or, better yet, Dear IT/Marketing/Customer Service Team Manager are infinitely better options.

If pursuing a more traditional career, e.g. at a law firm or at a university, go with their title (e.g., Mr., Ms., Mrs., Dr.) and their last name to be on the safe side. Otherwise, using their first name is a great way to grab the reader’s attention.

One more tip here. If your recruiter is a woman, and you don’t know their marital status, start with Ms. It’s a neutral term that will help you avoid a potential misunderstanding.

And the last thing. Unlike a USA cover letter, UK cover letters require your full address. So don’t forget to add it when writing a cover letter in the UK.

You can adjust every cover letter created in the builder to meet the job requirements. Choose the name of your profession and the company to which you’re applying, and the LiveCareer cover letter builder will automatically adapt the content for you. Create a cover letter faster than you ever thought possible and apply for the job in record time.

Create your cover letter nowcover letter builder

2. Introduce yourself with a strong opening paragraph

The purpose of writing a cover letter is to introduce yourself to the hiring manager. And just like with a CV summary, it’s also the best practice to present yourself in great light in the very first paragraph.

How to write a cover letter—first paragraph example

As a CAA-certified administrative assistant with 5+ years of experience and a proven track record of reducing processing times by 20%, I am thrilled to apply to Hardy & Twardy Ltd as an Office Manager. Your offer states you’re looking for someone experienced in optimizing production processes and streamlining budgets. And with my experience of negotiating lower equipment prices and managing department budgets resulting in a 10% reduction in expenditures, I firmly believe I would make a great fit.

The example offers a concise yet comprehensive framework for crafting an impactful cover letter. It's centred on a straightforward formula: introducing yourself effectively, articulating your unique value proposition, specifying the desired position with a personal touch by mentioning the company's name, and finally, explaining why you're the ideal candidate.

By adhering to this approach, your cover letter can effectively showcase your qualifications, enthusiasm, and suitability for the role, enhancing your prospects of securing the desired position.

That’s all you really need to tell your reader at this point.

Important things to note here—open up with one or two of your greatest achievements. It’s best to see the job description to determine what your employer would deem the most relevant. And when writing your cover letter, display those achievements in the first paragraph. Also, remember to always refer to the company you’re applying to by name at least once. You don’t want to send a generic cover letter, but a personalized one.

3. Show the recruiter your great work achievements in the second paragraph

Next, similarly to your CV, comes your professional experience and skills. They are what will (or won’t) land you an interview. The keys to writing this section of your perfect cover letter are relevance and proof. Learning this rule by heart will help you in writing a cover letter:

The example below shows you exactly how you can present your skills on a cover letter for a job application:

How to write a cover letter in the UK—second paragraph example

As mentioned above, in my previous position as an administrative assistant at Gourds & Sandals, I was tasked with managing the company’s expenses. Not only have I managed to reduce the company’s expenditures, but my negotiation skills resulted in additional savings of about £10,000 per month. I have also streamlined the purchasing procedures, which resulted in a 22% decrease in processing time. Additionally, I have also identified an opportunity to implement a new scheduling software. It resulted in a 25% increase in overall company productivity. All of the above shows I take my work seriously and care about the results I deliver on behalf of my company.

Why is this so effective? Every single thing is relevant to the job offer. This approach ensures that every aspect of your cover letter is directly relevant to the position you're applying for, underscoring your suitability for the role. Additionally, incorporating quantifiable metrics and statistics further reinforces the tangible impact of your skills and experiences.

Pay attention to these points when writing your cover letter, and you’re bound to make a lasting impression on the reader.

The second paragraph of a cover letter should be the longest. If you have a lot of relevant work achievements, you may even choose to separate it into two smaller paragraphs for readability.

You don’t have to create any content yourself. The LiveCareer cover letter generator will automatically suggest the best content for your cover letter with ready-made examples and expert tips.

Create your cover letter nowcover letter builder

4. Prove you’re a great fit and express your motivation

Your skills are of the utmost importance—but so is your personality. After all, you’ll be spending the better part of the week at work. So, when writing a CV cover letter, show the hiring manager you’re a great cultural fit and a cool person to hang out with. Use this opportunity to your advantage because there’s no room for anything like this on your CV application.

As you’re writing this section of your cover letter, focus on a couple of things. The important aspects are what you like about the company and how your personality and working style fit the company culture. Also, mention why you want to work for this particular employer and how you’ll benefit the company.

Look at the example below:

How to write a good cover letter—third paragraph example

Were you to hire me at Hardy & Twardy, I would bring that same drive and commitment with me each and every day. I’ve always been drawn to your company's firm belief in empowering employees to make complicated decisions on their own when needed. I would be incredibly fortunate to be considered for the position at a company whose work and culture reflect my own.

This example shows all the previously mentioned points. The candidate showcases her drive and describes what she likes about the company she’s applying to. She shows the recruiter she’s a great fit for the company not just because of her experience but also her values.

But it’s not the end of your cover letter just yet. You still need to finish writing a cover letter professionally. So…

5. Finish your cover letter with a call to action

Remember. You’re writing the cover letter with one goal in mind—to convince your recruiter that you’re the best fit for the position. And so far, you did. But what if you get no callback?

When learning how to write a cover letter, it’s vital to put emphasis not just on the opening statement but also on the CTA. Because it works. And it’s easy. Try closing your cover letter with a line like that:

How to write a cover letter in the UK—call to action

When would you have time for a quick phone call or meeting? I’d love to discuss how I could bring similar results to your company.

When you’re writing your version of the closing of a UK cover letter, make sure you propose how you’d like to meet and talk (e.g. a phone call, video chat, face-to-face meeting, lunch, etc.). Also, suggest a specific time to meet (e.g. this week, next week, etc.), or ask them to schedule a meeting by asking a question that can’t be answered with a Yes or No. This makes your offer seem more urgent, and you, a more valuable employee.

Pick the recruiter’s curiosity by saying what you’d like to discuss (you can mention a specific issue if you know what the current challenges for the company are).

6. Sign off professionally

When concluding your cover letter professionally, opt for formal sign-offs such as "Sincerely," "Regards," "Yours Truly," or "Thank You." In cases where you address the letter without knowing the recipient's name, "Yours Faithfully" is an appropriate choice.

Conversely, avoid informal sign-offs such as "Love," "Cheers," "Peace," "Bye," or "See You Soon," as they detract from the professional tone of the correspondence.

Here’s what the ending of your cover letter should look like:

How to write a cover letter—sign-off

Sincerely,

Cindy Rowland

If you’re hand-writing a cover letter, leave a few extra spaces between the complimentary closing and your name. Then, add a handwritten signature for a stylish and professional flourish.

7. Add a postscript for extra impact

Word of clarification—This is not a must-have part of your cover letter. A Postscript is a completely optional thing. The whole idea behind the P.S. section is to include something relevant, but you had no option to write it in any part of your cover letter.

Usually, it’s an achievement of yours you weren’t able to fit in elsewhere, a comment on the company's recent success, or a fun fact about you that proves you’re a fit. Whatever. As long as it’s relevant and necessary. If you don’t know what to put in the postscript, you most likely don’t need it at all.

And why does a Postscript work? Because it’s something that’s so rarely used, it instantly grabs attention. Here’s an example of what the P.S. section can look like:

8. Structure your cover letter right

Before you start writing, make sure you’re following proper formatting rules. Knowing what makes a good cover letter layout is just as important as knowing how to write a cover letter. 

Here’s how to best format your cover letter:

  • Don’t justify. Left align all text for maximum legibility instead.
  • Set 1.15 line spacing or single line space for all text.
  • Use double space between each cover letter section and paragraph.
  • Apply 1-inch margins on all sides of the cover letter.
  • Choose a great cover letter font. Keep it consistent with your CV font.
  • Keep your cover letter length at one A4 page. Unlike a CV, you can’t spill it onto another one.
  • Pick a cover letter matching your resume template to give the employer one unified job application package.
  • Unless otherwise instructed, send your cover letter as a PDF rather than a .doc file. PDFs formatting will stay intact regardless of the device used.

How to write a cover letter—postscript example

P.S. I’d love to tell you how I collaborated with other departments on a project which resulted in the implementation of a new internal communication system.

A cover letter alone simply won’t be enough—you need an impactful CV, too. Create your CV in minutes. Just follow our wizard and fill in every CV section with ready-made content. Get started by choosing a professional CV template.

Create your CV nowcv builder

There you have it! Did you like our guide on how to write a cover letter in the UK? If you’ve got any additional questions on how to write a cover letter for a job, I’d be happy to answer them below in the comment area. Thanks for reading!

How we review the content at LiveCareer

Our editorial team has reviewed this article for compliance with Livecareer’s editorial guidelines. It’s to ensure that our expert advice and recommendations are consistent across all our career guides and align with current CV and cover letter writing standards and trends. We’re trusted by over 10 million job seekers, supporting them on their way to finding their dream job. Each article is preceded by research and scrutiny to ensure our content responds to current market trends and demand.

About the author

LiveCareer UK Editorial Team
LiveCareer UK Editorial Team

Since 2013, the LiveCareer UK team has shared the best advice to help you advance your career. Experts from our UK editorial team have written more than one hundred guides on how to write the perfect CV or cover letter.

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