How to Write the First Paragraph of Your Cover Letter

How to Write the First Paragraph of Your Cover Letter

How to Write the First Paragraph of Your Cover Letter

Your cover letter is your first impression on employers. And the first paragraph of your cover letter needs to make the biggest impact, if you want to grab an employers attention.  Take the time to get your cover letter off to a rousing start, and you’ll reap the benefits with more interviews, and more chances to land the job of your dreams. 

1. Introduce yourself, and explain why you’re contacting them.

The first paragraph of your cover letter actually begins with thesalutation of your letter. It helps if you can find out the exact person who'll be reading your resume package. A personally addressed cover letter carries a lot of weight with overworked hiring managers.

After the salutation, the first paragraph should present your name, the position you're apply for, and how you found out about the opening. Remember to be very specific when you talk about the position and how you found it. The hiring manager will appreciate precise information in the first paragraph of your cover letter.

2. Keep the first paragraph short and to the point.

In reality, the first paragraph of your cover letter doesn't need to be any longer that two or three sentences. The relatively short content of the first paragraph of your cover letter can cause you to take it for granted. Don't make that mistake.

Remember that the first paragraph of yourcover letteris your official introduction to the company and the hiring manager. If the first paragraph of your cover letter has spelling errors or doesn't read smoothly, then that reflects poorly on you.

3. A quick sample of the first paragraph of your cover letter.

The first paragraph of your cover letter should look something like this:

Dear Mr. Henry Potter,

My name is George Bailey and I'm applying for the position of properties manager that was advertised in the September 12th edition of the Bedford Falls Times. I'm submitting my credentials for your consideration.

This quick sample of the first paragraph of your cover letter applies to any situation where you're responding to an employment ad either online or offline. The first paragraph of your cover letter will look different when you're applying to a company that didn't advertise for resumes.

4. Writing the first paragraph of your cover letter when you're sending a resume without and advertisement.

The first paragraph of your cover letter will need to be more descriptive if you're sending a resume to a company that hasn't advertised an open position. Proactive job hunters send resumes to companies that they'd like to work for, regardless of whether or not the companies are advertising for help. It's a common job hunting tactic, and it requires the first paragraph of your cover letter to look something like this:

Dear Mr. Henry Potter,

My name is George Bailey and I'm inquiring about open positions with your firm. I'm submitting my credentials as a rent collector for your consideration.

In this instance, the first paragraph of your cover letter explains who you are, why you're submitting a resume, and what kind of job you are looking for.

The LiveCareer website has acover letter builderyou can use to create the ideal opening to help get your cover letter noticed by employers. You can also use ourcover letter examplesto see how the first paragraph of your cover letter should look. 


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