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Cover letter checklist

A good cover letter will will complement your CV and emphasise your suitability for the job you are applying for.
  • Use a plain, clear template for your letter.
  • Specify why you are writing (ie in response to an advertisement or on a speculative basis).
  • Demonstrate that you have researched the company and know why you are applying.
  • Say why you want to work for this particular organisation and why they should employ you. What do you have to offer? What is the relevance of your academic/technical experience and interests to the requirements of the job?
  • Convince them you want the job and give details of your availability for interview. It might be appropriate to indicate which related alternatives you would also like to be considered for.
  • If you're not sending a hard copy of your application, which is less and less common, then sign your letter digitally with a jpeg of your image.
  • Keep a note of the date and make a polite follow-up by telephone or letter if no reply is received after two weeks. This is likely to have the effect of emphasising your continued interest and showing a businesslike approach. Both are likely to influence a prospective employer favourably.