Cover letter

A cover letter is meant to convince the reader of your qualities and fit to the vacancy and company. The ultimate goal with this letter is to get invited for an interview. 

A few general guidelines apply to the format of the letter: 

  • No more than 1 page (A4 size) 
  • Keep the format and style the same as your CV
  • Note your contact details (e.g. e-mail and phone number)
  • Always address the letter to someone (e.g. Dear Mr. Johnson)

The content is up to you, but the 4 paragraphs mentioned below are important to keep in mind when structuring your letter: 

  • Opening. Start with a catchy first sentence. Mention why you are applying and via which source you found the vacancy. Also note the date when you respond to an advertisement. When you have spoken to a person who works for the company, refer to this person’s name. Why are you applying to this company? Or in one sentence: Why are you a good fit? 
  • Suitability. Tell about your background and current experience. How do you match with the job requirements (experience, characteristics, qualities and skills)? Do not copy the requirements that are stated in the vacancy but pick a few and briefly explain with an example that demonstrates you possess that trait/skill. 
  • Motivation. Why are you suitable for the job and the company? What is it that appeals to you when it comes to the position? Why do you want to work for this company (and not for the competitor)? 
  • Ending. Finish with an active last sentence and try to leave the initiative for further contact on your side. Therefore, avoid “passive” words like “hoping” and “waiting”. 

Do you prefer personalized feedback on your CV, cover letter or LinkedIn profile? Check out the free online checks and walk-in sessions offered by TU/e Career Academy.

Interesting Links