Cover Letter: Do’s and Don’ts!

Cover letter dos and don’ts, our top tips and advice on how to make your cover letter shine through and beat the competition when apply for jobs, and graduate schemes. 

It is so important that your cover letter makes an impact on the employer. This is the first piece of information they receive about you and you want to persuade them that you are a suitable candidate. This is your opportunity to stand out and get in the interview process!

“Vocational Impact helped me find my perfect job. They talked me through every step, found the best work-experience placement for me, and I gained transferable skills for my career development goals.”


  • When researching an employer, you want to show your interest in their company, focus, mission and work. This means;
  • Understanding what the company or organisation does.
  • Who do they work with (this could be their clients if they are a company or it could be the people they aim to look after such as children)?
  • It is also so important that you look at some of their recent news, have they had a new structure put in place or are they expanding, what key projects are they working on.
  • What makes this company different from their competitors?
  • And most importantly; Why are you applying to them specifically? What can you do for them that will make a difference to their team?
Fundraising, Tips and advice


It is important that your cover letter should be addressed to a named person, it shows that you are making the effort to find out who they are.

Your cover letter should not be more than one page (A4) and your paragraphs should be clear and short.

Do your RESEARCH, it is essential that you target it towards your potential employer. It shows you are keen to go the extra mile to fit the position in the company.

Use your cover letter to highlight relevant experience and information that is in your CV 


“Vocational Impact understands how important professional development is and what makes a person stand out. I would highly recommend their career service. Get in touch to start your career journey and access unique work experience.“

If you’re applying for a volunteer role, you should relate back to any past expertise that you may have in this field.

Your cover letter can also be used to explain any irregularities that have arisen in your CV, such as gaps in employment. But more importantly, it can be used to highlight all the COOL and AMAZING things you have done that might show your courage, or communication skills or creativity.  

Don’t feel afraid to SHOUT about yourself. It’s great to see achievements and good things that you have done on a cover letter. This makes you memorable, for example; ‘I was promoted to team leader whilst volunteering for a project’.

It is important to be as truthful and honest as possible in both your CV and cover letter, you don’t want to be in the interview with the employer and then to call you out on something you wrote in your cover letter but it wasn’t the whole truth!!



When concluding the cover letter, make sure to thank the employer for taking the time to read your cover letter and for considering your application for the job role. 

We hope that you can use some of these insights to help you improve your cover letter. Whether you are applying to one of our volunteer abroad programs or you have already been and are now applying for jobs we wish you the best of luck.

Ask us about our career development opportunities and graduate jobs. Talk to other graduates on our forums and attend one of our talks close to you.

UP NEXT: How to write the perfect CV 


We offer career development advice one-to-one sessions. If you are interested to find out more about how this works, send us a message here. 

Start Your Volunteer Journey