Writing a cover letter is your first opportunity to impress your potential employer. It’s important that you address their job specification and highlight why YOU would be the best candidate to interview. Doing this will ensure that you secure that all important interview.

Below you can see five quick tips on how and when to use a cover letter to your advantage, as advised by Secs in The City:

1. Balance form and function

Make sure that it is easily readable, it’s clear about who you are, what you are applying for and your capabilities to do the job.

2. Provide evidence

Employers won’t hire you on your CV alone. You must show you have the skills and experience to do the job in your covering letter. Highlight the evidence about your capabilities such as relevant qualifications and achievements, and awards you may have won.

3. Include testimonials

Include positive quotes and testimonials from former managers, colleagues, customers and suppliers to reinforce your credibility and personal qualities.

4. Tone

Depending on the kind of organisation and perhaps the seniority of the role you are applying for, you could use a business-like tone or even a more casual approach – but remember to ensure you stay professional at all times.

5. Most importantly – Show you can do the job

Don’t forget that they will be shortlisting you only if you clearly demonstrate that you meet their selection criteria for the job. You must emphasise and prove your capabilities clearly.