What is a Cover Letter?
A document that supplements a resume has the opportunity to be extremely helpful when it is written correctly. These letters fill in the gaps that resumes neglect to fill due to space constraints. This is an applicant's chance to speak as a real person and tell their story. When this document is requested, it should be viewed as a great opportunity. Learning how to write a cover letter will improve your ability to get an interview. Read our guide about some of the worst mistakes to avoid after you finish reading this page.
Why Do We Need Them?
The letter will explain to a person (particularly a hiring manager) why you are interested in their job or internship. This document has the untapped potential to "wow" someone before even meeting them. Below we describe the construction of letters in email and paper formats.
Writing an Email Cover Letter
- Salutation: This is the first line of the email. Greet them by addressing the employer by name. If the name is unknown, address the company or organization followed by a comma or a colon.
A colon is typically more formal, use your own discretion to determine which to include.
*Quick Tip: Steer clear of "To whom it may concern" unless absolutely necessary, which it shouldn't be. Make the effort and get the person's name.
- First Paragraph: Keep it short, at most compose a few sentences. You only need to describe what position you are applying for and how you found the company. You will want to use action verbs within each paragraph to "pump up" your writing.
- Body Paragraphs: Include one or two paragraphs that answer questions employers may have. Explain your qualifications, experience, and why you are interested in gaining this opportunity. Make yourself sound great here.
- Conclusion: Briefly remind the reader the reason you are perfect for this job. You should also include your contact information and mention your availability to follow up and continue the hiring process.
Always thank the person to whom you are writing and never forget your manners!
End with a proper closing statement (Sincerely.)
- Heading: At the top of the page should be a formatted header including your contact information. Use a 16pt font for the heading. Leave a space between the body of the letter and the heading.
- Date: Enter today's date, at this point, the text should be justified to the left.
- Company's Contact Information: Use a 12pt font for this, and list this directly under the date.
- Salutation: Include the employer's proper title followed by a comma or a colon.
- First Paragraph: Explain why you want the job and what made you choose their company.
- Body Paragraphs: State your qualifications, your interest in the position that you have applied for, and feel free to show your knowledge of their company.
- Closing: Sum up why you would be a great match for their company and encourage them to contact you. Conclude with the proper thank you and closing message (Regards.)