What is a Cover Letter

A cover letter is usually required when applying for a new job, voluntary work or applying for a university/graduate school place. It is your opportunity to express why you are applying to that school or job, for example what is it that interested you about the place and why you would want to study or work there. When writing the cover letter format make sure to include this information so that the recipient can follow your thought process.

Some tips and advice for writing your cover letter would be to make sure you are specific. It is very easy for you to get lost in a pile of hundreds of other applications, and those in charge of application processes in universities or companies can tell the difference between a tailor written cover letter and a generic one.

Different Types of Cover Letter

There are many different cover letters for many different purposes but more commonly they will fall in either the professional or academic category. A cover letter for a job will be looked at by an employer during the application process to see who would be a good fit for the position. A motivation letter for university is commonly asked for when applying for a university place or for a scholarship. Different terms are used for certain cover letters so it might be useful to have a look at cover letter vs motivation letter to be clear on the subtle distinctions and also read up on what is a motivation letter.

Within the category of cover letters for jobs, you can find a few different styles. For example, when you are not applying for a specific posting of a job, you could want to write a letter of interest or networking cover letter for future applications. Also, you might write a referral cover letter when someone you know has called you up for a job.

How to Hand in a Cover Letter?

A cover letter will never be given in by itself. Whether it is an online cover letter, a cover letter email or a hard copy cover letter, it will always be accompanied by your CV. They should always be handed in together as your CV is a display of your all-round skills and achievements while your cover letter should go more in depth about why you are interested in that specific position. It stands to provide additional information rather than to repeat what you have already mentioned in your CV, check out our tips and advice on writing a cover letter to ensure you do this correctly.

For a clearer explanation, perhaps it will be usefull to look at some cover letter examples.

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