32. Covering/Cover Letter

Source: Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, New 9th Edition 2015, pp. WT30 and http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com

What is a covering/cover letter?

A covering letter (NAmE cover letter) accompanies a CV/résumé or an application form. It should normally be no longer than one side of a single page. While in some countries covering letters are handwritten, in Britain and North America they are typed, unless otherwise requested. A good covering letter uses formal language and presents some key arguments for why your application should be taken seriously. When there are many applicants for a job employers may select which CVs to read on the strength of this letter.

How is it structured?

Your address

Your telephone number


Employer’s name and address



Reference: name of post

Paragraph 1

State your purpose for writing. Say which job you are applying for and how/where you heard about it.

Paragraph 2

This outlines your current job and responsibilities, or your qualifications if you are a new graduate.

Paragraph 3

Say why you want the job and what you can bring to the company.

Paragraph 4

Give any other relevant information and say when you are available for interview.


Sign your name and print it in full underneath. Enc. or encl. shows you have enclosed something.


19 Strangelands Road
NE23 6ZB
Tel: 0207 337 34589
20 January 2015
Mrs F. Hunter
Human Resources Manager
Timson Office Supplies
Unit 5 Males Industrial Estate


Dear Mrs Hunter

Senior Accounts Clerk
I am writing to apply for the post of senior accounts clerk advertised in last Friday’s edition of the Cambridge Evening News.


As you will see from my enclosed CV I am currently an accounts clerk in a medium-sized printing firm. In addition to my normal bookkeeping duties, I am responsible for invoicing and chasing up late payments. I also deal with credit checks on potential customers.

I am committed to pursuing a career in management accounting and am currently studying for further professional qualifications by distance learning. I am particularly interested in your post as it would enable me to gain experience of working in a larger company with the opportunities for professional training and development that this brings. In addition to my skills and experience as an accounts clerk, I would bring to the job a proven ability to deal successfully and tactfully with customers and clients.

I am available for interview for the next three weeks, but will be away for two weeks from 14 February. I can supply details of referees and any other information you may require.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Dilip Patel

Enc. CV


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