The first thing a potential employer sees when you apply for a job is your job application letter. This doesn’t just support your CV – it’s an opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd and persuade the recruiter to put you through to the next round, the job interview.

Be wary of spending hours on perfecting your CV at the expense of your cover letter. If you need some inspiration on what to include here are some helpful guides – just remember not to copy them word for word.

Your job application letter is an opportunity to highlight your most relevant qualifications and experiences, to enhance your Curriculum Vitae (CV), and increase your chances of being called for a successful job interview. Your letter must detail your specific qualifications for the position and the range of skills you could bring to the employer.


In your first paragraph, explain simply why you are writing. Mention the job title and company name, and also where you came across the job listing. Offer something different than what’s in your CV: It’s rare to send an application letter without also sending a CV. Make sure that your application letter does not duplicate your CV content. Your language can be a bit more personal than the CV’s bullet points and you can take this opportunity to tell your prospective employer about your work experience and career to date.

Make a good case. Your first goal with this letter is to move on to the next step – a job interview. Your main goal, of course, is to get a job offer. Use your job application letter to further both of these admirable causes. Offer details about your experience and background that show why you are a good candidate. How have other jobs prepared you for the position? What would you bring to the position, and to the company?

Close with all the important details. Include a thank you at the end of your letter. You can also share your personal contact information, including your mobile phone number. If you’d like, mention how you will follow up at a later date.


1. Standard, Conservative Style A

This sort of letter is ideal for sectors such as business, law, accountancy and retail. For more creative sectors, a letter like this might be less appealing – and could even work against you.

Dear Mr. Boss,

I am writing to apply for the programmer position advertised in the Times Newspaper. As requested, I am enclosing a completed job application, details of my qualifications, my CV and three references.

The opportunity presented in this job advertisement is very interesting and I believe that my strong technical experience and education makes me the ideal applicant for this position. The key strengths that I possess for success in this position include:

  • I have successfully designed, developed, and supported live user based applications.
  • I can provide excellent contributions to enhance customer service for all your customers.
  • I strive for continued excellence.

With a BS degree in Computer Programming, I have a full understanding of the lifecycle of a software development project. I also have considerable experience in learning and excelling at new technologies as needed.

Please see my enclosed CV for additional information on my experience.

I can be reached anytime via email at [email protected] or on my mobile phone, xxxxxxxxxxx.

Yours sincerely

Signature (for hard copy letter)

Contact details including your home address and email address.

2. Standard, Conservative Style B

Dear Mr Boss,

Please find enclosed my CV in application for the post advertised in the Guardian on 30th November.

The nature of my degree course has prepared me for this position. It involved a great deal of independent research, requiring initiative, self-motivation and a wide range of skills.

For one course, [insert course], an understanding of your particular industry was essential. I found this subject very stimulating.

I am a fast and accurate writer, with a keen eye for detail and I should be very grateful for the opportunity to progress to market reporting.

I am able to take on the responsibility of this position immediately, and have the enthusiasm and determination to ensure that I make a success of it.

Thank you for taking the time to consider this application and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

I can be reached anytime via email at [email protected] or on my mobile phone, xxxxxxxxxxx.

Yours sincerely

Signature (for hard copy letter)

Contact details including your home address and email address.

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