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Cover letter tips for roles in the public sector

Found the perfect role and want to catch the employer’s eye? Including a cover letter with your application is the ideal opportunity to showcase your personality, achievements and relevant experience to the hiring manager.


Research, research, research


Before you start typing, make sure you’ve researched the company from top to bottom. This means doing a bit of digging, including exploring the website for any press statements or public reports you can access. You could even look up some of the current employees on LinkedIn to gain a better understanding of the type of people they hire. Thorough research will help you gauge the culture and aims of the agency or local authority you’re applying to. Pepper your cover letter with this learned insight as a nod to the hiring manager that you understand the motivations and values of the company. For example, if you’re applying for a role with Camden Council, you would want to reiterate how you support with the goals set out in their Camden 2025 vision document and why they are important to you. 


Don’t copy and paste


Tailor each cover letter specifically to the job you’re applying for. Employers want to see that you align with company values and understand the responsibilities of the role. If you’re recycling the same cover letter for everything you apply for, it will be obvious and give your application an impersonal feel.


Avoid blanket statements and aim to include keywords from the job description. Luckily for you, all of our vacancies clearly list the main skills and experience needed to be a successful candidate. 


Showcase your personality 


Employers don’t want to be hiring robots, especially in a sector where interpersonal skills are essential. Although cover letters should maintain a professional tone, you also have the chance to let your personality shine through. We recommend avoiding formulaic language and use specific examples to explain who you are and why you’re a great fit. 


Demonstrate your experience 


Show the hiring manager that you are familiar with the public sector by including two or three examples of recent roles. Focus on your achievements and how you helped implement positive change. These don’t have to be in the form of hardcore statistics, but should always emphasise why you would be an asset to the employer. For instance, you could say something like ‘Through my strong negotiation skills, I was successful in delivering a project two months ahead of schedule’.  



Don’t let your eloquently-worded masterpiece of a cover letter be tainted by a grammatical error or spelling mistake. This will stand out as sloppy to the hiring team and is sure to get your application relegated to the bottom of the virtual pile. Double check the application requirements and ensure you’ve adhered to any existing word count limits. Finally, get a second pair of eyes on your cover letter to make sure there’s not something you’ve overlooked. It’s always easier to spot mistakes when you’re not the author who’s been looking at the same document for over an hour!  

We hope you found this blog helpful and wish you all the best of luck in securing your next job.

Still searching for the perfect role? Browse our current vacancies in the public sector here.

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