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Covering letter

Mr Ian Walker
Systems Manager
ALS Computing
3 Deans Court
Leeds L1 1NL
14 Any Avenue
Sheffield S4 2PP
Tel: 00701234567
11 January 2019
Address details
Use the formal layout of a business letter, even if you are sending it online.
Add your contact details at the top right. As an alternative, you could add them to the top left,
however, this could take up more space and limit how much you can write in the main body of
the letter.
Add your home address if you are applying directly for an advertised vacancy with an individual
recruiter. You can leave it out if you are sending a speculative application to an organisation, or
you are submitting your CV and covering letter to a jobs board or recruitment agency.
Add the date.
Add their address on the left.
Dear Mr Walker
Contact details
Try to address your covering letter to a named individual rather than 'Dear Sir/Madam'. If
possible, ring up the organisation and check who would be the most appropriate person to
write to.
Systems Designer
I wish to apply for the vacancy of Systems Designer, advertised on your website recently. As
a final year student in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Sheffield, I
am confident I have the skills and abilities required to make a valuable contribution to the
role and your organisation.
Start your letter with a short introduction
Give your letter a subject heading, eg, stating the job title and reference number (if there is
one) for the advertised position.
Explain what the letter is about. If it is in response to an advertised vacancy, say where and
when you saw it advertised. If you are making a speculative enquiry about the possibility of a
job or work experience, be clear about the type of work you are asking for.
As you can see from my attached CV, I am completing a BSc in Information Technology for
Business, which includes developing technical specifications, systems design, exploring new
technologies and programming in a variety of different languages. My course also includes
an element of management and business strategy, which has taught me the importance of
developing a comprehensive business plan and defining system requirements along with a
realistic time-frame, prior to starting on the actual design.
I have already gained extensive work experience through completing a 'Year in Industry'
placement where I worked as part of a team developing a quality management system to
improve customer support. Once implemented this provided a rational, transparent sales
audit trail which enhanced customer satisfaction. Additionally, I have undertaken projects
throughout my course, supporting local organisations. For example, I am currently
developing a system for the Broomhall Community which will streamline data input and
match volunteers to local schemes and initiatives. These experiences have enabled me to
develop broader ranging skills such as team working, communication and problem solving,
which would be useful to your organisation.
State why you are a good candidate
Referring to the evidence in your CV, state clearly how you match what the recruiter is asking
for in the advertisement (skills, experience, qualifications, etc).
With a speculative application, think about what you would expect them to be looking for given
the nature of the opportunity that you are seeking. It's important to draw attention to the most
relevant experience and skills you have, and describe a recent example from your CV.
Don't repeat sentences from your CV though. Instead use the letter to expand on information.
Having researched a number of organisations, I am particularly attracted to ALS Computing
because of the training and support on offer to staff. The quality of this support is clearly
recognised via professional organisations, as I see from your website that it is accredited by
both the British Computer Society and the Project Management Institute.
I understand that you are currently involved in a wide range of projects, so the advertised
role would allow me to continue to develop my skills in systems design and other aspects of
IT. I am also aware that you have just won a major prestigious contract to develop a new
client support system for charitable trusts in Leeds and as I thoroughly enjoy volunteering at
the Broomhall Community, am keen to gain further experience of working within this sector.
State why you’d like the job / study / research opportunity and why this organisation
/ institution
This section of the letter sets out 'Why this job / study / research opportunity' and 'Why this
organisation / institution'. These can be covered in two separate paragraphs but can work just
as well with one, provided it’s not too long.
Describe what motivates you and attracts you to this opportunity – show that you have a
realistic understanding of the role and can draw parallels with positive experiences you have
already had, whether in a similar role or in a completely different setting. Try to show how your
previous experience makes this opportunity the logical next step for you.
Say why this organisation appeals to you. Use the research you have done into them (eg, their
website, social media, contact with one of their representatives or employees, etc) and explain
what appeals to you about the organisation.
Try and find something that is unique to them – if you can replace the name of one organisation
with another and what you have written is still relevant, you haven't been specific enough about
Don't waffle or make it up. You need to focus on real reasons, as you might be asked more
about these at an interview later.
I hope you find that my educational background, previous work experience and skills meet
your requirements for this position. If successful, I would be happy to relocate to Leeds,
which is such an exciting, vibrant city and where I have a number of friends.
I would welcome the opportunity to discuss my application with you in more detail, and
look forward to hearing from you soon.
End with a positive conclusion
Summarise your suitability for the job and the organisation. If the work is located in another city,
write a short sentence to reassure the recruiter that you have taken this into account and would
be happy to make the move.
Your final words obviously depend on the context within which you send your letter but, most
likely, it will be appropriate for you to express your expectation of a reply, eg, "....I look forward
to hearing from you in due course." If appropriate, indicate when you are/are not available for
Yours sincerely
Joanna Marcher
If you start with a named person such as Dear Mr Walker, then end your letter with Yours
sincerely. If you started with Dear Sir/Madam, then end your letter with Yours faithfully.
You do not need to include a signature if you submit your letter via email or to a jobs site.