Activity 24 Cover Letter

Reading cover letter samples is a great way to learn how to write a good one for your job search. That's why I invited readers to post their best cover letters — so that we all learn what works... and what doesn't.

Sharing Cover Letter Samples

I've written lots of articles on how to write a cover letter. In this article, instead of me doing all the talking, I suggested we put our heads together to come up with cover letter samples that help each other right here on the website.

I asked readers to post your letters (below in the comments section) and tell us why they thought their letters were good. If they had questions, they could ask. Then, someone in the group would give his or her two cents. The goal was to have a nice give-and-take.

As you see, it worked pretty well. The sample cover letters that folks submitted (below) are filled with ideas (some good, some not so good) and the comments, I hope, are useful in learning how to write a good letter.

Send Me Your Cover Letter

If you'd like to send me your cover letter, you can copy and paste it into my contact form. I can't promise to respond to all letters sent to me, but if I have the time, I'll get back to you.

The Best of the Best Cover Letters

If you're short on time and can't read through them all, you can skip to this list of the best of the cover letters that were sent in. Some of them are really good, so don't miss them.

Don't Have a Great Cover Letter?

Check out my Ready-Made Resume Builder. It has a lot of cover letter templates and wording to help you write a really good letter... maybe your best cover letter ever!

The first thing a potential employer sees in your job application is the cover 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.

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 and what format to use, here are our helpful guides – just remember not to copy them as exact templates.

1. Standard, conservative style

This 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 work against you.

Dear Mr Black,

Please find enclosed my CV in application for the post advertised in the Guardian on 30 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 the [insert sector] 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.

Yours sincerely

2. Standard speculative letter

This may vary according to the nature of the organisation and the industry you're applying to.

Dear Mr Brown,

I am writing to enquire if you have any vacancies in your company. I enclose my CV for your information.

As you can see, I have had extensive vacation work experience in office environments, the retail sector and service industries, giving me varied skills and the ability to work with many different types of people. I believe I could fit easily into your team.

I am a conscientious person who works hard and pays attention to detail. I'm flexible, quick to pick up new skills and eager to learn from others. I also have lots of ideas and enthusiasm. I'm keen to work for a company with a great reputation and high profile like [insert company name].

I have excellent references and would be delighted to discuss any possible vacancy with you at your convenience. In case you do not have any suitable openings at the moment, I would be grateful if you would keep my CV on file for any future possibilities.

Yours sincerely

3. Letter for creative jobs

We've used the example of a copywriter but you can adapt it for your profession. The aim of a creative letter is to be original and show you have imagination, but understand what the job entails. Balance is essential: don't be too wacky, or it will turn off the reader.

Dear Ms Green,

· Confused by commas?
· Puzzled by parenthesis?
· Stumped by spelling?
· Perturbed by punctuation?
· Annoyed at the apostrophe? (And alliteration?)

Well, you're not alone. It seems that fewer and fewer people can write. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people who can read. So they'll spot a gaffe from a mile off. And that means it's a false economy, unless you're 100% sure of yourself, to write your own materials. (Or to let clients do it for themselves.)

To have materials properly copywritten is, when one considers the whole process of publishing materials and the impact that the client wishes to make, a minor expense. Sloppiness loses clients, loses customers.

There is an answer. Me. Firm quotes are free. You can see some of what I do on my multilingual website at [insert web address]. If you'd like, I can get some samples out to you within 24 hours. And, if you use me, you'll have some sort of guarantee that you can sleep soundly as those tens of thousands of copies are rolling off the presses.

Luck shouldn't come into it!

With kindest regards

Other helpful resources

•How to write a perfect CV and cover letter

•Applying for jobs without experience? How to build and sell your skills

•Five steps to the perfect graduate CV

•School-leavers and graduates: how to write your first CV

•How to write a personal statement for your CV

•CV templates to fit every stage of your career

Looking for a job? Browse Guardian Jobs or sign up to Guardian Careers for the latest job vacancies and career advice

One thought on “Activity 24 Cover Letter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *