Cover Letter Basics

The cover letter serves as an introduction to your resume. It helps introduce yourself during the job application process. While your resume lays out the fact, a well crafted cover letter expands that information in a way that is memorable and personal. 

Heading

Name
Street Address
City, State, Zip
Phone Number
Email Address

Salutation

Call the company and ask who your cover letter should be directed to. Address that person by name. 

Introduction

Explain why you are writing the letter, including the job position for which you are applying. You should also mention how you learned about the open position.

Examples of Work

Outline your strengths and tell them why you are the best candidate for the position.  Emphasize your skills, abilities and accomplishments as related to the job. Give examples and be concise but don't reiterate your entire resume.

Conclusion

Refer the reader to your resume for more details and information about your education and experience. Ask about the interview process or request to schedule an interview. In some cases, it may be appropriate to say that you will call them on a certain date to follow up. Thank them for considering you for the position.

 

Points to Remember

  • Only include relevant information
  • Keep paragraphs short and concise
  • Stress accomplishments, responsibilities, marketable skills
  • Demonstrate your knowledge about the company
  • Suggest how your skills and abilities fit the employer's needs
  • Address it to an individual person in the company
  • Tailor your letter to the job position
  • Use standard-size paper (8 1/2 x 11")
  • Sign your name in black ink

 

Things to Avoid

  • Sending a resume without a cover letter
  • Using salutations like "Dear Sir" or "To Whom it Concerns"
  • Clichés like "Please find my resume enclosed"
  • Entire resume included in the cover letter