writing a great cover letter-blog

Many jobseekers find it difficult to write a cover letter. Although it may not appear as straightforward as writing a CV, with a little guidance it can prove a relatively simple task. The keys to writing a good cover letter are to keep it clear and easy to read, and to focus the employer’s attention on to your best qualities.


The purpose of a cover letter is to state your interest in the job, to express your desire to work for the company and to highlight the key skills/qualities that make you the ideal candidate for the job. A good cover letter will be short and to the point. Three to five short paragraphs is sufficient and it should never be longer than one page. A cover letter should be tailored specifically for each job application. Don’t restate everything on CV. Instead, expand on the most impressive part of your CV in a way that highlights your ability to do the job. Ask yourself, what skills and experience do I possess that will be most useful in this job? The answer will determine the content of your cover letter.


Insert your name, address, email and phone number at the top right hand side of the page. Place the employer’s details below that on the left hand side of the page. Enter the date immediately below the employer’s details on the left hand side. Next you should mention the job you are applying for. On a separate line write ‘Re:’ followed by the job title and the job reference number, if there is one. In the opening paragraph introduce yourself and clearly explain the opportunity you are interested in. The middle paragraph will briefly outline why you are a good candidate for the job. This will only involve mentioning two or three of your most important achievements and linking them to the position you are applying for. This could involve your academic achievements, a particular work project, or skills you developed in a previous job. In the closing paragraph restate your interest in the position, mention how much you believe you would excel in the role, and insert your contact details again. Finish by saying how you look forward to hearing from them, then thank them, and sign off with ‘Yours Sincerely’ followed by your full name. Keep your cover letter concise and state your case in the fewest words possible.

You can download one of our sample cover letters from our website at: www.collinsmcnicholas.ie/jobseekers/cover-letters/templates/ to help you write a great cover letter.

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Niall Murray

Managing Director

Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services