How to write a cover letter

Cover Letter

A cover letter is a must to have along with your resume in order to explain what position you are applying for and why you are the best candidate for that position. A cover letter allows you to show an interest in the company that you cannot show on your resume. You can also show more about yourself while highlighting one or two of your skills or accomplishments the company can put to good use.

Do:

  • Address the letter to a specific person (include their title).
  • Explain specifically how you can benefit the employer.
  • Relate relevant information that is not on the resume
  • Limit your paragraphs to three or four sentences each.
  • Sign your name.
  • Have someone else proofread your cover letter before sending it.

Don’t:

  • Place your needs over those of your potential employer.
  • Make demands.
  • Be too general or vague.

Elements of a Cover Letter

Your Street Address (or Post office box number)

City, State, and Zip Code

The date

(Enough spaces to center the letter on the page)

Name of contact person (including Mr. or Ms.)

His or her title

Name of the company

Street address

City, state, and zip code

The opening paragraph should explain which position you applying for and how you became aware of the position. Next, you should write a concise statement that explains why you are interested in the position. If you were referred to the employer by someone, you should include that person’s name and point out that he or she suggested you write to that employer.

The middle paragraph is where you make note of relevant information not on your resume. You should note how you can benefit the company at which you are applying.

In the closing paragraph, you should thank the employer for his/her time and consideration. If assertiveness is valued in the job field (e.g., sales), the last sentence could make an assertive statement of what the applicant will do next, such as calling to arrange an interview at the employer’s convenience. Otherwise, use this opportunity to let the employer know that you are interested in an interview and when you are available for an interview.

Sincerely,

(Your signature)

Your name typed

Enclosures (ex. Resume enclosed or Resume attached)