Overview

A cover letter allows you the opportunity to demonstrate to an employer your fit and enthusiasm for the role. Simply by taking the time to write a tailored cover letter, you are showing the employer that you are an eager applicant. Further, a well-written cover letter gives you space to show the employer how your experience and skills connect with the job description. If you help them see that you have the skills and qualities they are seeking, you will be far more likely to be offered an interview.

A cover letter complements your resume

At first glance, it would seem that your resume would be sufficient for applying to a job. Your resume is a broad statement of your experiences and attributes that will ultimately benefit your employer. To reach a decision about whether you should be hired, the employer has to translate your skills and abilities into their job requirements. Your cover letter does that job for them by helping them see how your resume relates to their specific needs.

Each cover letter should be unique

In your cover letter, you will introduce yourself to the employer and show your interest in the company or a specific job opening, all while drawing attention to your skills and abilities to motivate the reader to interview you. Your cover letter is a prospective employer's first impression of you. Because of this, every cover letter you write should be unique to that employer. You may be able to reuse examples. However, most of the time, you want to start fresh to ensure that your reader feels that they are the focus of the letter.

 

How to Write a Cover Letter

Believe it or not, a cover letter can be much easier to put together than you might assume. Why? Every cover letter contains the same components:

  1. Heading
  2. Introductory paragraph
  3. 1-2 body paragraphs
  4. Closing paragraph and signature/enclosure statement

Before you start writing, ask yourself how your experiences, talents, and skills, align with those required in the job description. Consider why you want this role in this organization and why you are a good fit. 

 

How to put together each component of the cover letter:

 

Formatting your cover letter:

Your Street Address
City, State, Zip Code

Date

Name of Person, Title
Company/Organization
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms./Dr.     :

Introduction: State your reason for writing. Name the specific position or type of work for which you are applying. (Mention how you heard about the opening, if appropriate.)

Body: Explain why you are interested in working for that employer, or in that field of work, and what your qualifications are. Highlight two to three achievements that relate to the position and field. Refer the reader to the enclosed resume, application, and/or portfolio.

Closing: Thank the reader for his or her time and consideration. Indicate your desire for an interview and provide your contact information. If the employer is willing to accept phone calls, state that you will call to discuss the possibility of scheduling an interview.

Sincerely,

Your Name
Enclosure / Attachment