Covering letters for different scenarios

Covering letters for different scenarios

In this article, you'll find a list we compiled showing how to write covering letters for the most common job-seeking scenarios.

Fresh graduate 

It would be very likely that there is an abundance of fresh graduates seeking a job or many others who have completed the same training as you. Therefore, if you are one of this group you would need to step up your efforts to stand out from the crowd.

Although your CV may not be all that different from the CV of your fellow graduates, your covering letter gives you the opportunity to explain what makes you special, so make the most of it!

First job  (non-graduate)

It could be difficult to convince an employer to give you a chance when you are completely new to the world of work and have only a school-leaving certificate in hand. Your covering letter is a chance to highlight your motivation and passion. If done in the right way, the covering letter could earn you the desired attention of your potential employer.

Career break (returning mothers/fathers, back from travelling, etc.)

You have taken a break from your career (taking care of young children or elderly relatives, needed time off to seriously think about a change in career path, travel commitments, illness, etc.) but now you would like - or need - to get back into the world of work. Irrespective of the reason for the career break, explain convincingly why you wish to start working again and you could be at a huge advantage.

If your reasons for taking a break were to develop your skills or acquire new ones, mention what you have been doing during your break explain.

In the event that it was not possible to focus on career development during this break, it might be best not to go into detail in your covering letter but do prepare a convincing explanation for the interview stage.


If you're unemployed and are worried about gaps on your CV, a covering letter offers the perfect opportunity to bridge the gap.

Being out of work is not necessarily within your control, and therefore you should not be ashamed of being in this situation.

However, make sure that your covering letter presents you in a positive light, perhaps by explaining briefly what you have been doing in your spare time to make you perfect for the job.

Change of career or role

To persons wishing to change their career path or role, a covering letter is the opportunity to explain why they are changing jobs and convince prospective employers to give you a chance.

You should already have work experience from another industry or company. Show how you can apply that experience to the new job and it would not matter that you're starting out in an unfamiliar role.

Career ladder climber

You're in a good position for job-hunting - you do not need a job, but you are just looking for a promotion or some extra cash. Sell yourself in the right way through your covering letter and this could be 'a walk in the park' for you.

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