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The UK Cover Letter Writing Guide

Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, a job search in the UK (United Kingdom) needs more than just the obvious UK cover letter and UK CV writing and translation - it requires thorough preparation. You will be forced to solve problems that probably did not even cross your mind when you decided to apply for work in Britain.

Do not take too lightly the huge influence the UK cover letter can have on the results of your adventure! For instance, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, strange job application procedures, weird selection trends and unusual management culture.

You need to accept that not knowing the English language will put you at a real disadvantage from the local job seekers. The basic knowledge of English is considered necessary to cope with daily office life and life outside work.

Most companies in the United Kingdom use Job Application Forms instead of letters. Standard questions cover education, training, work experience, hobbies and personal interest. Pay attention to the open questions that try to establish your social and transferable skills. Never leave any blank spaces.

Presentation of your own CV, rather than the filling in of an Application Form, is usual

Your UK cover letter is the very first thing an employer will see. Under most circumstances, a cover letter is used as an introduction and should accompany your CV, whether e-mailed, posted on a job site, mailed or hand-delivered to an employer. A personalized, targeted, well-written cover letter is your chance to set yourself apart, grab the employer's interest and draw them in for a closer look at your CV.

The UK cover letter is an integral part of your job applications. It should refer to your present and future plans, showing your prospective employers what you want to do now and what you will do for them in the future.

Often the cover letter is more important to employers than the accompanying CV because CVs refer mainly to the past time with exception of your present job, but employers are interested mostly in the future of companies they represent. Therefore, concentrate on your present and future plans, showing your prospective employers what you want to do now and what you will do for them in the future.

It is common to send one page typed cover letter with your CV.

Begin your UK cover letter with your name, nationality and contact information including your address, phone/fax and e-mail. Often cover letters and CVs are kept on file for long periods, so any contact details you give have to remain accurate in the long term. A daytime phone number with an international access code and e-mail address are most important.

The UK cover letter should be business-like and typed in a short and professional style using power words and action verbs. Usually, it contains three or four paragraphs. So, be concise and get to the point as quickly as possible. Break any paragraph, which is longer than seven lines, into a short easily understandable one.

The letter should be addressed to a specific person. Take the time to research every employer's organization and personalize each letter with a real person’s name. Such personalization would increase the retention of your application. If you do not know to whom you are addressing your job cover letter, you may begin with "Dear Sir/Madam" and finish with "Yours faithfully".

Explain your motivation and why you are the right candidate for the job. Illustrate your skills with examples. Do not overestimate your qualities, since this could offend the British sense of modesty. Use instead of a straightforward, respectful tone and illustrate, wherever possible, particular skills with examples.

Finish your cover letter formally with a sentence expressing your willingness to explain your application in more detail during a personal interview.

It is becoming more common to attach photos to job application letters. Some companies specifically ask for it. Only include one if asked for.

Check the spelling and grammar of your UK cover letter. Use the word processor's spell and grammar checker. If you are not confident of your ability to detect grammatical, punctuation and language usage errors in English or if you need help in organizing your cover letter, send it to a professional for assistance.

Remember that your CV must be targeted, scannable and generate hits. If you have difficulty with your CV writing instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, use CV samples or CV templates.

Most recruiters expect to receive a cover letter together with your CV. So, prepare a cover letter convincing the reader why you are the best candidate for the interview using cover letter writing tips.

In recent years it becomes increasingly popular to join the LinkedIn or Facebook social networking websites for professionals, where you may search for jobs and have your keyword-optimized, rich content profile with a current CV. Hiring managers use them more frequently to consult your profile and supplement or check against the CV you send along. If you do not have an account, create one and include your social media link(s) on your CV.
However, you should manage your online presence. Eliminate any photos and statements that could reflect poorly on you. From an employer’s point of view, someone who emphasizes partying on a social networking site is not focused on jobs and those who post complaints about work or colleagues are less desirable candidates. The online CV should not include sensitive information as it could show a lack of respect for confidentiality and discretion.

Other UK Cover Letter Info

To be successful in your UK job search and get the job you want, you need to prepare the UK cover letter and the UK CV which you must email instantly to the prospective employers selected during a job search in the UK.

When you receive an invitation to the UK job interview, you may apply for a UK visa and a UK work permit. Then prepare yourself for a job interview and take a look at the UK dress code because how you dress is one of the most important attributes in not being hired for available jobs.

Check the job interview dos & don'ts, job interview tips and other job search skills pages.

In addition, on the international info, job searchcover letter, visa & work permit, job interview and dress code pages you will find many useful tips for overseas job seekers.

Good luck with your UK cover letter!