10 tips to improve your covering letter and CV

Posted by on February 23rd, 2012

An accurately written covering letter and CV could greatly increase your chances of getting a job.

In particular, a job in the PR and journalism industry relies on accurate writing and attention to detail.

When shortlisting applicants for interview, the employer’s only means of assessing you is from your covering letter and CV. It is very important to get them right and not make any avoidable mistakes which could count against you.

Here are a few pointers for potential applicants to consider:

  • Keep your font size and type consistent.
  • Use grammar correctly and don’t use semicolons if you don’t know where to put them. Bristol University’s website has a good section on grammar tips and exercises.
  • Lay out your covering letter correctly and if you don’t know how to do this, then find out.
  • Dear Sir/Madam = Yours faithfully (with a small f).
    Dear Bob/Mr Smith = Yours sincerely (with a small s).
  • Names always begin with a capital letter; it looks sloppy if a letter begins “Dear ellie, I am interested in a work placement at barefoot media….”.
  • Do some research. You only need to look at the homepage of our website to see that “Barefoot Media” is not “Barefootmedia” or “Bare Foot media”.
  • There is no excuse for poor spelling.
  • Ensure that your covering letter answers anything that has been specifically requested, e.g. why you feel you are suitable for the role or what relevant experience you have.
  • A good CV should be clearly laid out and succinctly contain the following: personal information, education and qualifications, work experience, skills, achievements, interests and references.
  • Proofread your application. Get a friend, your mum or anyone else to proofread it, and then proofread it again.


Photograph by Markus Spiske

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