Covering Letters

Published on: 29 Sep 2009

If they specialise in a particular sector or are looking for someone to fill a vacancy on a specific project, you will need to demonstrate your interest in this sector and highlight any relevant experience and projects.

Your covering letter is your chance to outline why you are a strong candidate for the job and show that you understand how the practice works and what it is looking for in a job candidate.

It is far easier to tailor your covering letter and your CV to each individual practice than to present a tailored portfolio with every job application.

Top tips

  1. Keep your covering letter brief and to the point.
  2. If possible, address your letter to a specific person within the practice. Most applications will be made via email, but the same conventions apply to a paper covering letter.
  3. Include your name and contact details and the date and stick to a standard font and format.
  4. Open with 'Dear sir/madam' or the person's full name unless you know the individual personally.
  5. Your first paragraph should show that you understand the nature of the job that you are applying for and explain why you are interested in the role. Your paragraphs should be short - one or two sentences is acceptable.
  6. Your second paragraph may be a bit longer and should explain why you are the right person for the job, what skills and experience you can offer and include specific examples to illustrate your ability to use this experience, but avoid repeating your CV word-for-word.
  7. Finally, explain that you have included a copy of your CV and portfolio and request an interview. Thank the reader for their time and for considering you for the position.
  8. Close your letter formally with a valediction such as 'yours sincerely' followed by your signature (if you are sending a paper copy) and your full name.