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First Name Last Name
Dear Mr./Ms. HiringManager or Recruiter last name,
This section is your opener and should contain your ‘purpose’ or interest statement that explains either why you would be interested in the job posting or the company. Make sure to reference keywords and statements from the job description.
The body paragraph (s): should contain skills and qualifications related to the job, i.e., provide a narrative example of how your job-related skills were obtained/honed. Your goal here is to match the skills to the employer’s needs. Justify how your career experiences could fit into the position and the organization.
* Optional section* This is where you would craft an explainer, like if there is a gap in your employment history or have a specialized circumstance, you can’t fully explain in your resume.
The end paragraph: is the closer that would signify a ‘call to action’ by reiterating a key qualification for the position you possess and an appreciation for the employer’s consideration.
Closing statement: Thank the employer/recruiter for their time.
— Your Full Name
A cover letter is a business letter you use to apply for a job. The cover letter doesn’t replace the resume but complements it by sharing additional information. A cover letter lets you speak directly to a potential employer and seal the deal as to why you consider yourself the best candidate for the job.
Yes. Writing a separate cover letter for every application is ideal for the best odds of landing an interview (and getting hired). While there will be similarities between your letters, how you describe your qualifications should be tailored precisely to the role you’re applying for.
Your cover letter should contain five key sections: the header, greeting, introduction paragraph, body paragraph and closing statement. You should include the following sections in your cover letter:
The header goes at the top of your cover letter and must include your full name, phone number, email and the city and state where you’re located.
The greeting is where you address the letter’s recipient. Ideally, you should greet them by name, but if you can’t find it, simply write: “Dear Hiring Manager.”
The introduction paragraph establishes who you are and why you’re interested in that particular job opening. Mention any critical skills or relevant experience that help you stand out.
The body paragraph should include the achievements and skills demonstrating your suitability for the job. You can provide more context to accomplishments from your resume and include additional ones to boost your application.
The closing paragraph summarizes your letter’s contents and pinpoints why you’re the best candidate. Remember to implore the employer to follow up with an interview and sign off with your name.
Your cover letter for a job application should be just one-page long. This page length ensures you focus on the job requirements and avoid “fluff” or irrelevant information that can bore and put off recruiters with a heavy load of applications to assess.
You should select a cover letter template design that balances out the aesthetics and practicality of the template. It’s great to have a cover letter template design that shows off your personality, but never if it overpowers or distracts from the contents of your letter. If you want to wow employers, you can match your cover letter template with your resume by using our matching template bundles on our Cover Letter Builder and Resume Builder.
There are different ways hiring managers request cover letters for online applications. Some request you upload it as an attachment, along with your resume. Others may ask you to write your cover letter in a text box within an online application form. Occasionally, hiring managers will ask you to send your resume via email, with the cover letter as the body of the email. No matter its delivery method, the fundamentals of how to write a cover letter remain the same.
They can. Employers can use applicant tracking systems to scan both resumes and cover letters for the right keywords and skills. While it is important to include correct industry terms, these should be used sparingly. Recruiters notice formulaic language and if popular terms are thrown in without consideration for the context of your letter.
When formatting a cover letter, you should first make sure your letter has the five basic sections: your contact information, company contact information, an opener, a body paragraph (or two), and a closer that solidifies your interest in the position.
The standard is to format it as a business-style letter — double-spaced, with a clean, readable font in 10 to 12 points, and a one-inch margin all the way around.
Cover letters are most commonly submitted as PDFs, but hiring managers may request them in a Word document, plain text or other format in whatever format is most convenient. Our cover letters can be downloaded as any file type mentioned here.