Cover Letter Writing Tips and Assistance for Graduates

The cover letter will be your very first point of communication with the employer so it’s imperative to get this spot on.

The General Layout of a Graduate Cover letter

Ideally you want to address the person specifically but if not ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ is fine.
Cover letters generally follow a 4 paragraph format.

First Paragraph – Introduction (Why you are writing)
This should briefly explain the job that you are applying for and reference where you heard about it.
e.g I am writing to apply for the Graduate Marketing position as advertised on ‘Graduate Links’.

Middle Paragraph(s) – What you have to offer
Why should an employer hire you? Briefly describe your skills & qualifications that are relevant to the position. Make sure you refer back to the skills and qualities that they are looking for in the job advert or if there is no advert and this is a speculative application include the qualities that you think will be required. Make sure you backup with facts and achievements.

Sometimes if you know the employer, you can tailor specifically to them and say why you would like to work for them as a company.

Closing Paragraph
Finish strongly, say when you are available for interview and finish with a line like, “I very much look forward to hearing from you in the near future”

Finally, if you know the name of the person that you are writing to use ‘Yours sincerely’, if you don’t and have written ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ the then it is correct to use ‘Yours faithfully’.

Our top tips for graduate Cover letter writing

1. Always include one! – Employers are expecting one so without it , you’re already off to a bad start. It’s a great way to get some personality across and emphasis interest in the specific role.

2. Presentation is key – Fonts should look professional eg – Arial, Times New Roman. Paragraphs should be clearly spaced. There are plenty of online templates. Use your university careers service or CV writing services (there’s some listed below), some of them give free reviews.

3. Keep it brief and to the point – Don’t waffle, the recipient will probably have loads to read through and just won’t bother if it’s to long.

4. Use a spell check – There’s no excuse for spelling errors and employers will look down upon this. Use a computer spell check and get someone else to read it for you.

5. Tailor to each company – If you know the company, do some research and say why you would like to work for them particularly. If they have a good reputation let them know.

6. Include a call to action – Request that they contact you for an interview or let them know that you’ll be in contact.

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Useful Graduate Career Services

Total Career Solutions
Total Career Solutions is a provider of professional bespoke career coaching, advice and training for graduates, professionals and executives

Free CV Review from The CV Store
The CV Store, a UK-based professional CV writing company specialising in the creation of bespoke CVs. Spend time browsing their site for free CV writing, interview and careers advice.

Job Test Prep
JobTestPrep is all about preparing people to their future tests. Ever since 1992, thousands of job seekers and future students who have set themselves a goal achieved it successfully by using our professional practice tools.

The Career Break Site
Career break? Everything you need is on the UK’s biggest career break site. Hundreds of career break opportunities, plus free, independent advice on planning your trip.

Pro-CV Writing Service
CVs, resumes, and cover letters expertly written and professionally presented for banking, finance, and investment; information technology (IT); information management; private security; hospitality and catering; and domestic service. Downloadable information to write your own CV or resume and links to job boards, books, interview skills DVDs, and CV and resume writing software.

Save the Student! helps students make the most of their student finances in practical ways. As the costs of University education keep rising, it’s more important than ever for students to get a grip on their money. Featuring student discounts, jobs and advice, this site is a must for all students!

Gradvert is the award winning graduate development company that helps students and graduates to get the job they actually want through CV & cover letter writing and career & interview coaching. Get ahead of the competition today with Gradvert.

Personal Career Management
Personal Career Management work with Graduates providing 1-1 career coaching support. Now, more than ever, graduates are facing the most challenging job market for years and need high level, professional career advice to help them stand out from the other candidates.

City CV | CV Writing Company
City CV, London’s specialist CV writing service and interview skills coach. Expertise in banking, finance & consultancy, from graduate to CEO. International client base. Our clients secure top jobs at top rates of pay.

CV Template
Resource to find lots of cv templates, cv tips for UK job seekers.

Resume Template
Create winning resumes using our free resume templates. It will only take you a couple of minutes to create your own resume using our resume templates. Get started today writing your resume

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