Writing an excellent cover letter is key to standing out against the crowd of other applicants. Our cover letter advice is tailored to the needs of people with a disability, to ensure they have access to the support they need for career success.

A cover letter is a formal letter that accompanies a CV. It should highlight to your potential employer who you are and why you are interested in the role.

Unlike your CV, don’t begin writing a cover letter until you have found a job to apply for. A CV can be generalised while a cover letter should always be specific to the company and role.

Don’t overload your cover letter with an excessive amount of information. The overall aim of your cover letter is to persuade the company to read your CV.

Hints and tips:

  • A cover letter should be short, typically 3-4 short paragraphs in length
  • Be unique: tailor your letter specifically to the role and company
  • Double-check your spelling and grammar. Ask for help from a family member or friend if you need it.
  • Be concise, honest and enthusiastic

Disclosing your disability

Whether you want to inform your potential employer of your disability is entirely your choice. Some people choose to mention their disability in their cover letter because it feels as though it is part of their identity. Others may do so to ensure their potential employer knows the adjustments they may need to make for the interview.

If you want to discuss your disability in your cover letter, you may want to include how it has shaped you as a person; whether this is through your approach to life or a can-do attitude.

Our step-by-step guide to writing your cover letter

The opening address

A cover letter is personal to the company for which you are applying. Wherever possible, you should address your cover letter to the name of the person who will be reading your application.

The correct way to address your cover letter is:

  1. Dear Full Name (e.g. Dear Robert Jones);
  2. Dear Mr Surname (e.g. Dear Mr Jones); or
  3. Dear Ms Surname (e.g. Dear Ms Jones)

By directly addressing the provider, you are reassuring them that this cover letter is specific to their company and the position on offer. If you can’t find the hiring manager’s name, avoid using “to whom it may concern” or “Dear sir/madam”. Recruiters will presume you are sending the same cover letter out to numerous employers. Instead, address your cover letter more specifically, for instance, “Junior accountant hiring manager”.

First words

Your first sentence should clarify the position you are applying for and the specific company. This will help explain to the recruiter that you are fully aware of the role and are not providing a generic cover letter.

For example:

I am very interested in joining The Agency for the available position of a junior accountant because…

Explain your interest

Follow on from your first words to highlight why the position is of great interest to you, and why you are the ideal candidate.

For example:

I am very interested in joining The Agency for the available position of a junior accountant because of the chance to train alongside a team of experienced professionals.

Use this opening paragraph to discuss the aspects of the role of interest to you and explain why you are excited. It is essential you have done the necessary research into both the role and company. The reader wants to hear why you think you’re the perfect fit for the position on offer.

Highlight your experience and skills

Use the next paragraphs explaining your background, skills and the experience that make you the ideal candidate.

Keep this content concise and relevant to the position you are applying for; you can use your CV to expand deeper into your broader skill set.

This section of your cover letter could include relevant information regarding your work experience, education at school and other desirable attributes.

Closing remarks

Close the letter by thanking the recruiter for spending the time to consider your application. Be sure to include a clear sentence to highlight you have attached your CV.

Close the letter with yours sincerely followed by your full name.

For example:

Yours sincerely,

Joe Bloggs