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When applying for a job in the UK it is usual to have to submit a Curriculum Vitae or CV (also known as a résumé in the USA).
A CV is a personal history of one’s education, professional history and job qualifications with a strong emphasis on specific skills relating to the position being applied for.
When shortlisting for suitable interview candidates employers will usually make this decision based on the CV and possibly a cover letter.
A cover letter, or covering letter, is a letter of introduction attached to or accompanying another document such as a curriculum vitae. Cover letters are generally one page at most in length, divided into a header, introduction, body, and closing.
Header: Cover letters use standard business letter style, with the sender's address and other information, the recipient's contact information, and the date sent after either the sender's or the recipient's address. The final part of the header is a salutation (e.g., "Dear Hiring Managers").
Introduction: The introduction briefly states the specific position desired, and is designed to catch the employer's immediate interest.
Body: The body highlights or amplifies on material in the résumé or job application, and explains why the job seeker is interested in the job and would be of value to the employer. Also, matters discussed typically include skills, qualifications, and past experience. If there are any special things to note such as availability date, they may be included as well.
Closing: A closing sums up the letter, and indicates the next step the applicant expects to take. It may indicate that the applicant intends to contact the employer, although many favour the more indirect approach of simply saying that the applicant will look forward to hearing from or speaking with the employer. After the closing is a valediction ("Sincerely"), and then a signature line.