3.2. Cover Letter

A man a and a woman writing

Image in Flickr by Gangplank HQ under CC

The letter of application you send with your CV is sometimes called a covering letter. It is usually the first direct contact between a candidate and an employer, so make sure it is well-written and presented. It should normally contain 3 or 4 paragraphs.

Here is a list of points you should include:

• Say what you would like to apply for
• Say where you found out about the job
• Say why you would like the job
• Say why you are qualified to do the job. Include both objective (education, work experience) and subjective (what you think about yourself) information.
• Say you can provide more information if necessary
• Say when you would be available for interview

Remember to:

• Address your covering letter to a specific person.
• Customize your covering letter to the position you are applying to.
• State the elements of your background that are relevant to the position.
• Provide any information specifically requested
• Market yourself.
• Keep the tone and content professional.
• Be clear, concise, and focused.
• Proofread.


Pregunta Verdadero-Falso

Listen to an expert discussing covering letters and then decide if the following statements are true or false.


A long letter creates a positive impression.

Verdadero Falso

You have to include your full name and address.

Verdadero Falso

Mention your children as soon as you can. Having them shows maturity.

Verdadero Falso

Education is more important than work experience.

Verdadero Falso

Use colours to make your letter more attractive.

Verdadero Falso

Don’t mention hobbies at all.

Verdadero Falso

It is essential to write your date of birth in the letter.

Verdadero Falso

Now you can read the text for the listening activity.




A formal letter.

Useful language:
• If you do not know the person’s name start with Dear Sir/ Madam and finish with Yours faithfully.
• If you know the person’s surname Dear Mr/Ms/Mrs López and finish with Yours sincerely.


• Put your address in the top right-hand corner with the date underneath.
• Put the name and address of the person you are writing to on the left.
• Don’t use contractions.
• Write your full name under your signature.
• Write I look forward to hearing from you if you would like a reply. 

Computer keyboard

Image in Flickr by orangeacid under CC



Some of the most frequently used expressions you may need when writing a letter are:

Opening sentences:

  • I saw your advertisement in ….
  • I have seen / read your advertisement in ….
  • I am writing about the advert in ….
  • I would like to apply for the vacancy advertised in …
  • Please consider my application for the post of … advertised in …

Body sentences:

  • As you can see from my curriculum, …
  • I studied…
  • I have been working as a … for ….
  • I like … (travelling, working with people, using computers, …)
  • Please find enclosed CV and recent photograph.

Closing sentences:

  • I hope you will grant me an interview.
  • I hope you consider me for an interview.
  • I look forward to an interview.
  • I would be available for an interview at any time.
  • I can supply you with the name of 3 references.
  • Please contact me if you need any further details.
  • I look forward to hearing from you soon.


There are many web pages devoted to CVs and covering letters. Here you have a few good ones:
Writing a Good Résumé.

Cover Letters Tips.


Image in Flickr by HereStanding under CC

This is the cover letter Lola sent CEOLS with her CV.




Lola Mañas Álvarez
Avenida de la Plata 47
Granada 18014

+34 958 245220
+34 649 587403

October 20, 2012


Ms. Serena Walkers
Cornwall European Online Language School
955 Kimberley Park Road
Falmouth Cornwall
TR11 J5X

Dear Ms. Walkers,

Please accept the attached resume as application for the position of homestay sponsor at CEOLS, whose advertisement I saw in Careers Abroad Webpage.
At present, I am working as an assistant to the conference manager at Hotel Saray, in Granada. I am responsible for providing administrative support, answering enquiries, taking bookings, and arranging the catering. Although I am very happy here there are no possibilities of promotion at the moment and besides I really want to. Previously I worked as a social and sports officer for Castila Spanish School in Marbella. I was in charge of escorting groups of foreign students, arranging schedules, planning social events, organising sports activities and managing the budget. I started in this position after completing my tourism studies at Granada University.

I excelled in my studies, receiving a special mention at the end of my degree. In my current job I have had the opportunity to develop many professional relationships and learn first-hand with one of the leading conference managers. I have enjoyed organizing activities and events here and the problems that may have arisen have taught me to stay motivated and become determined. I have demonstrated excellent organizational and motivational skills.

I can speak Spanish, which is my mother tongue, and English and I have a working knowledge of French. I am very good with computers and I have a driving license. I am well-organised, highly motivated and have excellent communication skills. In addition I am reliable, flexible and quick to learn. I am confident that my positive attitude would be a great asset to your company. I am available for an interview at a mutually convenient time.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Lola Mañas Álvarez

Rellenar huecos

Look at the list of things you should say in a covering letter. List them in a logical order from 1 to 6.
Definition Number Line
Other skills (languages, computers, driving license..). 1. Please accept…
When you would be available for an interview. 2. …whose advertisment…
Subjective information: why you think you are qualified to do the job. 3. At present…
Where you found out about the job. 4. I can speak…
Objective information: education, work experience… 5. I am well-organised…
Reason why you are writing. 6. I am available


Sierra Nevada
Image in Flickr by JoseJiménez under CC





Write a covering letter to apply for a job at Cetursa-Sierra Nevada. Make it as complete as you can and include address and signature. (150 words)

Cetursa Sierra Nevada is looking for self-motivated individuals to join our team. We have two vacancies in the administration area. Candidates must have a positive attitude, good communication skills and be team players. All applicants must have a good level of English and computer skills. Send your CV and a covering letter to Manuel Jiménez, Cetursa Sierra Nevada, Plaza Pradollano s/n, Monachil, Granada.

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