A cover letter is a note (no more than one page) that accompanies your CV. Some employers view the cover letter as the most important part of the job application. This is the perfect opportunity for you to stand out from other candidates by selling yourself and explaining why they should hire you. Include solid content all the way through, not just at the beginning and avoid trying to sound too familiar which can be off putting and unprofessional.

A strong opening paragraph will catch the employer’s attention from the start so you will want to make it memorable in order to have a head start over your competition. Take this opportunity to let the employer know why you want this job and show plenty of enthusiasm. At this stage, you should have done your research on the company you’re looking to work for, and this should come across in the first paragraph. Using examples such as past projects they’ve worked on will show the employer you have a strong interest in their company.

Next you will want to include what you will personally be able to bring to the company. Make yourself familiar with the job description so you can talk about your skills and qualifications that you will be implementing in this role. Using bullet points makes a cover letter easier to read, helps you stick to the point and stop waffling. It can be difficult to sing your own praises so ask friends or past colleagues, if possible, what you excel at. You can use these answers to write more confidently about yourself.

Backing up what you’ve written with examples and numbers proves what you have written is true. You can go into more detail here to show the employer what they can expect of you if you’re hired. For example, if you’re applying for a site manager and in your last job you increased job completion time by 30% then include this. Using numbers will show you can achieve tangible results.

Finish with a hard-hitting conclusion. This is your last chance to show your enthusiasm for the job and company and leave a memorable impression. Show your gratitude and remind the recruiter of your value. Remember these might be the last words an employer reads before deciding whether to review your CV or offer you an interview.