How to Write a Cover Letter ?

 What is a Cover Letter? (and Why It’s Important)

A cover letter is a one-page document that you submit as part of your job application (alongside your CV or Resume). 

Its purpose is to introduce you and briefly summarize your professional background. On average, your cover letter should be from 250 to 400 words long.
A good cover letter can spark the HR manager’s interest and get them to read your resume. 
A bad cover letter, on the other hand, might mean that your application is going directly to the paper shredder. So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s essential to know how to write a convincing cover letter.

Cover letters aren’t always required when applying to a job, but many companies use them to evaluate your skills, passion, and experience.

To maximize your chances of getting an interview, you need a well-written cover letter that makes a strong positive first impression on employers.

But writing a great cover letter is easier said than done, especially if you lack work experience.

Regardless of where you’re at in your career, we’re here to help you write the best cover letter possible. We concisely answer the question “what is a cover letter”, explain its purpose, provide some cover letter resources, and show you how to write a good cover letter for a job in seven simple steps:

  1. List your contact details
  2. Address the hiring manager (ideally by name)
  3. Write an attention-grabbing opening paragraph
  4. Explain why you’re qualified for the job in your body paragraph(s)
  5. Connect your experience to the company’s needs
  6. End with a convincing closing paragraph
  7. Add a polite sign-off

How to write a cover letter that gets you the job

Here’s how to make a great cover letter for a job application:

Underneath your name in your cover letter header, list the following contact details:

  • First and last name
  • Email address (something professional, usually including your name)
  • Phone number
  • Mailing address (optional)
  • Linkedin profile link (optional)
  • Portfolio or website (optional)

After your header, include the date and following company contact information:

  • First and last name of the person you’re writing to, or the relevant department
  • Company address
  • Company phone number
  • Hiring manager’s email address

2. Address the hiring manager (ideally by their name)

Next, address your cover letter to the hiring manager by name if possible. A standard cover letter salutation includes the hiring manager’s first and last name, and begins with a “Mr.”, “Ms.”, or another relevant professional title.

If you don’t see the hiring manager’s name listed in the job ad, don’t worry. You can easily find out who to address your cover letter to using the following methods:

Ways to find the hiring manager’s name

  • Search the company on LinkedIn and click on “People”
  • Explore the company’s website (specifically their “About Us” or “Team” page)
  • As a last resort, contact their human resources department and ask

However, if you absolutely can’t find the hiring manager’s name, using a generic greeting like “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Sir or Madam” is considered acceptable by most HR professionals.

3. Write an attention-getting opening paragraph

Start your cover letter with an informative, direct introduction by including the following details in the first one or two sentences:

  1. Job position: The title of the advertised position
  2. Company name: The name of the company you’re applying to
  3. How you discovered the opening: Whether you saw the job on LinkedIn, a job board, or were recommended to apply by a friend
  4. Intention to apply: An enthusiastic announcement that you’re applying for the open role and why you’re interested in or qualified for it
  5. Notable accomplishments: If you have relevant work experience, highlight one or two of your most notable achievements in your introduction to immediately grab the employer’s attention

Here’s an example of a cover letter opening paragraph that effectively introduces the applicant:

An example of how to write the introduction part of your cover letter

You can also make your introduction even more attention-grabbing by adding a bit of personality, passion, or by including a major career highlight. Don’t be afraid to let some of who you are as a person shine through in your cover letter.

Just be sure to strike the right tone for your industry or field. For instance, if you’re applying for a job in law or finance, keep your writing formal.

4. Explain why you’re qualified for the job

Your second and third paragraphs should make a convincing argument you’re the right person for the job by discussing your relevant work experience, skills, and achievements.

Here are some things to include in your cover letter that highlight your value to an employer:

  • Professional achievements: Did you exceed targets for production, sales, revenue, profit, customer satisfaction, or any other business objectives?
  • Professional praise: Have you received compliments from management or colleagues for your work?
  • Professional awards: Have you received awards for your work, like “Employee of the Month”?

In the following example, we’ve color-coded the achievements, praise, and awards with underlining to show you how to include each in your cover letter. Note that including bullet points on your cover letter is one way to quickly demonstrate your skills:

5. Relate your experience to the company’s needs

Begin to close out your cover letter by restating your interest in the job and explaining how your experience fits into the needs of the company.

For example, if you’re applying to work at a company that’s seeking to break into a new market that you have experience in, you should highlight this experience in your writing.

If you’re not sure what the goals or needs of the company are, find out by doing some general research online. Take note of what products or services they offer, what their work culture is like, or if they have any future goals.

6. Finish with a concise closing paragraph

When writing your cover letter closing, be polite, confident, and continue to market yourself as the best candidate for the job. Here’s how to write a convincing final paragraph for your cover letter in three steps:

  1. Restate your excitement about the job opportunity
  2. Politely ask the reader to send you an invitation to interview
  3. Thank the hiring manager for reviewing your application

6. Sign-off (“Sincerely,” and your name below)

Finally, wrap up your cover letter with a professional closing salutation:

7 cover letter sign-offs to use

  • Sincerely
  • Best
  • Regards
  • Thank you
  • Respectfully
  • Kind regards
  • Best regards

Then, make two spaces below the salutation, and type your full name.

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