CV Advice

Keeping a Cover Letter Concise

What is your cover letter for? You’re not aiming to win the Man Booker Prize, so it doesn’t want to be War and Peace. In terms of a meal, the cover letter is the amuse bouche before the starter that is your CV. Something to tantalise the reader and make them believe that they’re going to be impressed by and enjoy your application.


Dear Find Out the Full Name of Whoever is Dealing With the Applications*,

The letter that I am writing for you now should be about the correct length for a cover letter. Use this first paragraph to say where you saw the job advertised or who brought it to your attention.

You now have a limited amount of time to make your pitch. They don’t want chapter and verse, just a few titbits of relevant experience and any professional qualifications that might be appropriate. Use this paragraph to highlight the reasons why you believe you are the ideal candidate.

All that remains now is to beat a hasty retreat, leaving the reader in no doubt that you expect an interview. Phrases like ‘I look forward to hearing from you soon’, or ‘I would appreciate it if you could arrange an interview for me’ and ‘I look forward to meeting you’ generally work well here.

Yours sincerely (* because you used the person’s name),

Your name.

Enc. (or Att. if you’re sending as an email) CV

In summary then, get in, say your piece and get out.

Jim Harvey matches you to suitable vacancies based on the skills and location on your CV against around 95% of the UK’s main and niche job boards in seconds.

CV Advice
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