Cv Cover Letter Uk Templates For Microsoft

If you’re starting a job search in 2018, getting your cover letter right is just as important as perfecting your CV.

After hours spent crafting your CV, it can seem a little superfluous to transfer the information into letter format. However, your cover letter shouldn’t be a regurgitation of your CV. Instead, it should zoom in on a few key skills and experiences on your CV that the employer values the most. As a result, your cover letter should be bespoke for every application.

Some recruiters may receive hundreds of applications a day, so your cover letter gives you a chance to stand out from the crowd. With 57.1% of professionals ranking the cover letter as an essential application component, you can’t afford to leave it out.

We know that writing these letters can seem daunting at first, especially as it can feel like there’s a lot to remember. To help, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to building your cover letter and tailoring it for each opportunity you apply to.

Download our cover letter template

Do your research

Research is a crucial part of many aspects of job hunting, and before you begin writing your cover letter, you need to make sure you’ve done your research properly.

The important things you should research before writing are:

  • Who will be receiving and reading your letter
  • The skills and experience mentioned in the job description
  • The company and its culture
  • Their competitors and market position
  • The sector and any recent news or trends
  • The organisation’s aims for 2018 and beyond

Building up a good knowledge of the company and industry helps you to tailor your cover letter for each company you apply to, and shows your passion for the job and sector.

The basic format

There’s a basic format for writing a cover letter that you can follow each time. However, every letter you write should be tailored to the specific job role or company you’re applying for.

Your cover letter should address the following:

  • Which position interests you and why
  • Your most relevant skills and experiences
  • How your skills and experiences can benefit the employer
  • Requesting an interview

Below is a basic break down of how you should structure your cover letter for 2018:

How to structure and write a cover letter

In 2018, it’s very rare for cover letters to be hard copies as most are sent online. However, traditional cover letter conventions state that your cover letter should be written like any other formal business letter, even if you’re emailing it.

Start with your address and contact details in the top right-hand corner. Make sure your contact details are sensible – email addresses like ninjawarrior2000@hotmail.co.uk won’t make you look very professional!  You should then follow this with the address of the company you’re applying for and the date further down and on the left-hand side.

[Address Line 1]

[Address Line 2]

[Address Line 3]

[Phone Number]

[Company address line 1]

[Company address line 2]

[Date]

To [Name],

Paragraph 1:

Your opening paragraph should be short and sweet made up of three things: why you’re writing the letter, the position you’re applying for, how you found out about the position. For example: “I am writing to apply for the role of [job title], in response to an advert I saw on [name of job site]. Please find my CV attached.”

Paragraph 2:

The second paragraph should be about you, expanding on your CV and giving a brief summary of any relevant skills or education you have. Remember, your cover letter shouldn’t be a copy of your CV; it should take your most notable achievements, explain a bit more about them, and then show how these skills could benefit the employer. Mirror the skills mentioned and the phrasing that’s used in the job description.

Paragraph 3:

The third paragraph is your chance to show your knowledge of the company and the sector and go into detail about why you want to work for their company specifically. You should state how you can help the company and add to their success, as well as why you’ll fit in with the company culture and core values.

Paragraph 4:

End your letter with a call to action. As you’re hoping to secure an interview, let them know your availability for a callback. If you plan to follow up with a phone call, say so! If you plan to wait for a response, close with “I look forward to hearing from you”. Thank them for taking the time to read your letter and sign off with:

Yours sincerely,

[Your Name]

Download our cover letter template

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Sending a cover letter online

With today’s technology, it’s common to send a cover letter – and a whole job application, for that matter – online or by email. This is especially common on job boards like CV-Library, and even with direct employers. If you need to send a cover letter online or via email, the approach you should take is a little different in terms of formatting.

If you just need to send your cover letter as an attachment, then write it as explained before. When it comes to saving it, make sure you use the .PDF file extension; any computer will be able to view the file, and all your formatting will be preserved.

Windows PCs use the .docx file extension for documents by default, whereas Macs use .pages. Avoid either of these, because there’s a chance that the employer won’t be able to open your cover letter. Stick with .PDF.

If you need to send your cover letter as the actual body text of your email, your approach will need to be slightly different. First, make sure you format the subject line of your email like so:

Application for [Job Title] – [Your Name]

If you were given a reference number, include that in the subject line as well. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to think about the layout of your letter. The paragraphs can be the same as a hard copy of your cover letter, but you can remove the addresses, date and signature.

If you’re applying for a job via a job board, you can sometimes afford to scale down your cover letter to key components. Check out this cover letter template for 2018:

Hi [Name],

I am interested in applying for the current vacancy you have for a [job title].

In my current role as [role title] with [company name], I am responsible for [insert relevant experience relating to job advert] but am currently looking to make a step up into a more challenging role with a reputable company who can offer career growth.

I am currently on a notice period of [notice period] and can interview immediately.

Kind regards,

[Name]

[Phone number]

[Email]

How long should my cover letter be?

Your cover letter should be no longer than a single A4 page. This can be tricky, especially since you want to impress the employer with all your skills and experience. But trust us; they simply won’t be interested in reading a 3,000-word essay. Even if they were, they probably just wouldn’t have the time! Keep it short, sweet, and simple.

Tailoring each cover letter

Each cover letter you write should be tailored specifically to the company and role you’re writing it for and should be detailed. Therefore you’ll want to avoid vague and generic phrases.

During the research stage, try to find the name of the hiring manager or whoever will be reading your letter. This way you can make the letter even more personal, and it will prove you’re a determined candidate who wants this job.

If you really can’t get hold of their name, you should instead start the letter with “Dear Sir or Madam” – but remember, if you don’t know their name, ensure you sign off your letter with “Yours faithfully” instead.

Read the job description so you can pick which of your skills or experiences to reference, and try to mirror some of the phrases they use in the job description. Illustrate your skills with examples to show why you’re the ideal candidate; as each company and role will be different, you’ll probably find that you’re using different examples on each letter.

Having done your research, you should also be able to talk specifically about the company in greater detail. Refer to their values or specific campaigns they have run that you enjoyed. This way they’ll know that you took the time to learn about their company and that you’re genuinely interested in them and the role.

When there’s no job advertised

If you haven’t seen an advertised position, but you’re contacting a company to find out if they currently have any vacancies, the format will be slightly different as you’ll be submitting a cold-contact cover letter.

You should address the letter formally as before, and try to get hold of the name of the hiring manager.

As you aren’t responding to a job ad, you should use your opening paragraph to explain why you’re writing to them and what it was that drew you to their company. If the reason for your application is a recommendation from someone, you know that already works there include their name.

You should also refer to the area of the company that you’d like to go into, for example, marketing or sales.

The body of the letter should remain relatively the same, highlighting your skills and experiences and giving detailed examples. Reiterate why you’re interested in their company specifically, talk about the sector and show that you’ve done your research.

In this instance, you should close the letter by thanking them for their time and expressing your interest in hearing from them with any available job vacancies that they may have.

Remember, each cover letter should be unique (even if you follow the basic format), and the aim is to make yourself stand out to recruiters. Follow these steps to writing your cover letter, and try to have fun with it!

Marketing yourself

In both your CV and your cover letter you should try to imagine yourself as a commodity and sell yourself to the company. There are several ways you can market yourself, and most of this will come from your research.

You need to demonstrate your knowledge of the company and the sector so that you can effectively explain why you’ll be beneficial to their company. As well as listing your skills and qualifications you could also demonstrate your interpersonal skills through talking about social activities and clubs.

All these aspects should help you build a case for why you’re going to add to the success of the company.

Top tips for success in 2018

Follow these cover letter tips for success to make sure you avoid making some fatal cover letter mistakes.

1. Keep it short

It may seem difficult with so much information to include, but you need to keep your cover letter short and sweet. Recruiters will give each letter about 20 to 30 seconds of their time, so it should be no more than an A4 page – they won’t trawl through ten pages, no matter how experienced and skilled you are.

2. Don’t just re-write your CV

The point of a cover letter is to expand upon your CV, not just re-write it—your CV should be attached to accompany your letter. Make sure you pick the most relevant examples and give details of your achievements.

3. Sign by hand

If you’re sending the letter in the post (old school, we know) then you should sign the letter by hand before you send it off—it adds a personal and more professional touch.

4. Sending online

Macs and PCs haven’t quite learnt to work in total harmony yet, and the last thing you want is the recruiter being unable to open your document. Instead, save your final CV as a pdf file; that way you know they’ll be able to open it on any device.

5. Proofread

Once you’ve written your letter, check it over for mistakes and perhaps even have someone else read it over too. Recruiters aren’t going to take you seriously if you’ve made silly spelling or grammar mistakes.

6. Avoid clichés

Each letter should be personal, so avoid clichéd phrases that recruiters have read a thousand times! Don’t just say “I’m a team player”, these buzzwords and phrases won’t make you stand out. Instead, choose an example of when you worked well in a team and explain what happened and what you achieved.

7. Use numbers

If you can, use numbers or stats to illustrate your points as it’s a nice way to quantify your results and adds to the format of the letter.

8. Be creative

Writing cover letters doesn’t have to be boring; you can be a bit creative in your approach – especially if you’re going into a creative industry or job role. Play around with layouts and formats; as long as all the important information is in there and the layout isn’t distracting, have fun with it!

9. Use bullet points

This is not always necessary, but depending on the format you’ve chosen or the job role you’re applying for, bullet points could be an effective way of demonstrating your points and adding to the layout.

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Cover Letter Templates

Cover letter templates are a great starting point for writing your cover letter, here is our advice on how to choose and use cover letter templates.

The Benefits of Using Cover Letter Templates

Cover letters, being somewhat antiquated and rarely used, can be a bit of a mystery to put together when they are required as part of a job application. Whether you are a young professional with little experience writing cover letters or a seasoned professional, cover letters can be tricky. Enter cover letter templates.

Cover letter templates are a great resource to help you answer questions about what to include in your cover letter and how to format it. Since cover letters are meant to be short--roughly 400 words--each piece of information you include needs to be deliberate and purposeful.

Checking out different cover letter templates and learning the basic formats and necessary components will benefit you in your current job search and in any future searches. Ultimately, cover letter templates act as a step-by-step guide for writing your own cover letter. Keep in mind that the best template for your cover letter could change with each job application.



Jobscan-approved cover letter template



Jobscan-approved cover letter template

The Wrong Way to Use a Cover Letter Template

Here at Jobscan, we spend a lot of time talking about resumes. We even wrote a whole page about resume templates. Just like there are with resume templates, there are also right and wrong ways to use cover letter templates.

One of the incorrect ways of using a cover letter template is to simply rephrase exactly what your resume says. Why? A cover letter is not a resume. The purpose of a resume is to pull out the most important parts of your work and educational history, sharing only brief, measurable information about each part. The purpose of a cover letter is to pick out a few of the most relevant pieces of information from your resume, and use them to back up your explanation of why you are the best candidate for each particular job. Your cover letter builds on your resume, it does not mirror it.

Another incorrect way to use a cover letter template is to choose the very first template you come across. Sure, that template could, in theory, be the best one. However, your goal when searching for the correct template is to find one that fits both your work experience and the job you are applying for seamlessly.

Even when you find the best cover letter template for you, it is important that you don’t mindlessly enter the information that the template suggests. Be picky about what you decide to include in your cover letter. If the template suggests adding a particular piece of information that you find irrelevant to the job, don’t include it.

Furthermore, never copy and paste into the template. Open a blank document beside the cover letter template and start writing your cover letter from scratch, using the template as a reference. Copy and pasting won’t only keep you from being critical, it may also create formatting errors and eliminate and important stage of the editing process. Recruiters can spot copy and pasting from a mile away, and they will stop reading as soon as they recognize it. If a cover letter doesn’t show effort, you won’t seem serious about the job.

In fact, don’t even use a template (funny how we mention this in a cover letter template post). Write one from scratch as if you were writing to someone you already know (imagine the recruiter is your childhood friend’s buddy). Your personality will come across and you won’t sound like a genetic clone of another candidate. But if you’re running blank, we have templates for you to reference.

The Correct Way to Use a Cover Letter Template

Cover letters are meant to give the hiring manager a glimpse into your accomplishments as well as your personality. They put your experience into perspective for each job you apply for, showing the hiring manager why and how you would be a great fit. Cover letter templates can be especially valuable when transitioning careers because you can highlight specific skills and experiences.

Each cover letter you write should expand on only the most relevant and valuable pieces of your experience pertaining to the job. Using measurable results while writing your cover letter--think percentages, dollar amounts and other numbers--are the cherry on top of the perfect cover letter.

Cover letter templates hold most of their value in their structure. One of the trickiest parts of writing a cover letter is just figuring out what goes where. Use a template to help you set up your paragraphs and sections. The content and headings within each section will vary from person to person.

Take your time browsing cover letters, and remember that one template might work well for a particular job, while another will work better for another job. Your cover letter should remain extremely malleable throughout the application process. Do not use the same one for every job.

The example below shows a well-constructed cover letter template. The headings show the framework of a basic cover letter. The information below those headings are examples of how to fill in those blocks. A framework is exactly how you should think of a cover letter template.



Example of a correctly-written cover letter

How to Make Your Cover Letter Template Your Own

The point of a cover letter is to make your personal skills and accomplishments shine. While using a cover letter template will help you organize your cover letter and generate ideas for what to include, making your cover letter your own is crucial to the process.

Your letter template will be your guide to writing your personalized cover letter. The correct way to use a cover letter template is to not copy the content in the sections exactly. Rather, determine which sections and information make the most sense for you and the job your are applying for, and mold your cover letter to fit that information.

In order to customize it to both you and each job you apply for. At every stage of the writing process, ask yourself, “is this the best depiction of me?” and “Is this relevant to the job?”.

These questions mean that you should not be using the same cover letter for every job you apply for. While the structure can remain the same, the content needs to be tailored carefully for each job.

A big part of customizing your cover letter is research. Do research using the job posting, company website and similar resources. This research will help you direct your cover letter, and it will better prepare you for a future interview with that company.

Final piece of advice, don’t think cover letter as a the traditional cover letter. Think of it as a message to introduce yourself and why they should meet with you. It can be casually professional.

Free Cover Letter Templates

Cover Letter Templates FAQ

What is a cover letter template?
A cover letter template is an outline or guide to use while writing your cover letter. Think of it as the skeleton or outline of your cover letter.

Where are the cover letter templates in Microsoft Word?
While Microsoft Word does not have a cover letter template, Microsoft Office does.

What is the difference between a cover letter and a resume?
A resume is a technical document listing your measurable work history. A cover letter expands upon the most important and relevant aspects of your resume.

Is a cover letter template the same as an example?
Some cover letter templates are examples, while others are blank except for headings. If you are less familiar with cover letters, you may benefit more from using cover letter examples alongside your template.



Jobscan Learning Center The Jobscan Cover Letter Learning Series

Part 1: Cover Letter Writing Guide
Jobscan’s Guide to Writing an Effective Cover Letter

Part 2: Cover Letter Formats
Formatting a cover letter can be frustrating but Jobscan walks you through cover letter formats from A to Z in this complete guide.

Part 3: Cover Letter Templates
Cover letter templates are a great starting point for writing your cover letter, here is our advice on how to choose and use cover letter templates.

Part 4: Cover Letter Examples
Cover letter examples can be helpful or confusing to a job seeker. Here is Jobscan's top advice on using the best cover letter examples.


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