The 5-step template for a solid cover letter

1.       Get the Attention – the subject line.

They may request you write something specific otherwise, it’s a good idea to place your name and the job title. The first thing they will see next to your name is your potential job title.

2.       Opener – what’s going to make the employer open your application first?

The very first sentence is going to be the first impression you make with your potential employer. Ensure it links with the most important skill or experience that’s been asked for on the job spec. You can include here why you are keen to have the job.

3.       Build the interest

This is by far the chunkiest part of your covering letter which tells the reader why you are the best person for it.

Take the opportunity to match every skill and experience they have asked for by talking about where or how you have gained that. Use the language they use where possible, for example, you may say ‘deliver’ and they use ‘facilitate’.

You may have included one or two points in your opener, although ensure you have covered everything else that’s required here. Feel free to use bullet points if this takes you over more than a couple of paragraphs although keep short and punch (Max to 300-400 words)

4.       Reasons – why you want it/why they should hire you

If it hasn’t come up, now’s the time to add a line about why you want the job.

5.       Action – availability

Finally, let them know your availability for interviews and what your notice period is.


Recommend keeping your email/covering letter to 300-500 words. If on the longer side, try bullet points for the main part.



Is the email dead?

And other learnings from the Internet Retail Expo 2016

75% of people admit to using their phone on the toilet

75% of people admit to using their phone on the toilet

A highlight of my year is when I go and learn about the latest methods, technologies and trends at the Internet Retail Expo. As you may know from my tweets, it is the only business event I attend all year, other than the ones I host each month of course (Likemind and Jelly). Once again, there were some outstanding sessions delivered by experts who work with some of the UK's best known retailers. I learn so much to share with clients.

How to speak to your customers on the toilet

For me, this session won the best title of the event! Lead by M&S, who say 75% of people admit to using their phone in the loo. For some, that's the only time to catch up on communications! Schuh maintain that 89% of people with a smart phone, only shop on that device.
Email is still king. Despite engagement on social media, it is the preferred of communication for customers. It's where people expect you to be.

Who is building apps now?

A session by My Supermarket gave the insight that 63% of people just look at the website on their phone, rather than an app. 
Although 29% of the country still doesn't have a smartphone, in another session, Schuh highlighted the importance of getting the mobile site as good as the desktop version.
I know that on many platforms, the mobile site is automatically formatted, including Squarespace, which I use to create easy to maintain websites for clients.

Powerfully connect with clients

How long do you spend scanning content on your phone?
Facebook say it's 1.7 seconds. That's all the time we have to get our message across, hence organisations are now making short 2-3 second films just to get their brand recognised. This is easy for the makers amongst us and with a little thought, we can create this for every service too. It makes sense to have them without sound.

Also, I learnt why the search button is more important than ever, the latest on marketplaces (Ebay/Amazon) and payment methods and how Sparks helped M&S Customers shop twice as often. Find out about next year's event here.


To learn how to apply my insights to your business, or discuss how to promote your enterprise more effectively, do drop me a line or get an idea of some of the topic ideas here.