A cover letter is an integral portion of nearly any work application. To close the deal, you must demonstrate your abilities and skills, as well as your enthusiasm for the position.
Are you stumped as to what to include in your cover letter or how to organize each detail? We show you how to write a cover letter for a work application to get you an interview.
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter, also called a closing letter or an acceptance letter is a one-page document that introduces a job seeker’s career experience, technical qualifications, and personal interest in applying for a position. Cover letters are still needed in 2021, even though they will seem outdated.
Your cover letter aims to elaborate on your resume’s accomplishments, highlight your personality, and clarify why you’d be a good candidate for the organization. Overall, your cover letter (along with your resume) helps managers and recruiters screen your job submission.
How to format a cover letter?
Your cover letter should be professionally written, concise, and to the point. So choose a legible font and avoid over-embellishing. There’s no need for pictures, Comic Sans, or word art.
It should be the correct length, as well as written in clear paragraphs. If you ramble on, you’ll bore yourself and the recruiter. A cover letter should be no more than half of an A4 sheet of paper or maximum one page in length.
Create a new cover letter for each job.
Yes, taking the cover letter you wrote for the last submission, updating the business name, and sending it off is much simpler and smoother. However, most employers like to see that you’re genuinely enthusiastic about the job and the business, which necessitates writing a unique letter for each position you apply for. While it is appropriate to reuse a few solid sentences and phrases from one cover letter to the next, don’t consider sending out an utterly generic letter.
What do you put in your cover letter?
Use the following general form when composing the cover letter:
An introduction should carefully be written to get the recruiting manager’s interest and illustrate why you want the position.
Have at least two paragraphs outlining your related qualifications, expertise, and job experience, as well as why you’re a good candidate for the role.
A clear conclusion confirms your talents and invites the recruiting manager to approach you (known as a call to action).
This cover letter writing tutorial will walk you through each of these parts, step by step, explaining what to include in your cover letter.
You’ll have a nicely formatted and convincing cover letter that looks like this by the end of the guide:
How to write a good cover letter?
Job hunters often have a lot of questions about how to write a great cover letter. I’m not sure what to bring in my cover letter. I’m not sure how to phrase it. How much information can I provide? These and many other questions are answered below. Let’s begin!
1. Put the contact information in the header
Type at the top of your cover letter.
- Your full name
- Technical email address (rather than ridiculous firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Contact information
- Postal address (optional)
- A shortcut to your LinkedIn profile (optional)
Then, under your contact information, type:
- Present date
- The recipient’s first and last name, or the department to which they belong
- The location of the company
- The contact number of the company
- The email address of the recruiting officer or the organization
2. Use hiring manager’s name when addressing them
Make a solid first impression by writing the cover letter to the recruiter directly. “To Whom It Might Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam” are robotic and impersonal greetings that come off as lazy and insincere.
Are you unsure who to contact? If you’re uncertain about the recruiter’s title (such as Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., etc.), you should keep that out of your cover letter salutation.
You can address it to the agency if you can’t remember anyone’s name. “Dear Marketing Department,” for instance, is appropriate.
Salutations that start with a good example are:
- Dear Jane Smith
- Dear MS John
- Dear Accounting Department
3. Introduction Paragraph
Many job seekers are unsure how to begin a cover letter, but the procedure is straightforward. The following are only a few illustrations of a strong cover letter introduction:
- Job title
The title of the work for which you are applying.
- Business Name
The name of the company for which you are applying
- Intention to request an application
A passionate declaration that you are applying for the job.
If you have those three items in your cover letter presentation, the recruiting manager will entice you to read on. Here’s an example of a good cover letter first paragraph:
A good first line
I’m ecstatic to be applying for J&M Consulting’s open content marketing coordinator slot.
However, we suggest that you apply some charisma, zeal, or a big career highlight to your presentation to make it even more attention-grabbing. In your cover letter, don’t be afraid to show off any of your eccentric personality traits. However, make sure you hit the right sound and don’t be strange.
Here are some examples of creative (but not required) cover letter presentation strategies:
Express your appreciation for the company
I’ve always wanted to work for Disney as a character builder, which is why I’m so excited to apply for this open role.
Draw attention to a previous accomplishment
I’m a firm believer in the importance of little data, and I convinced my previous employer of this when I saved the company $60,000 per year by reviewing and challenging every line on a massive balance sheet. If Tulane Accounting is looking for an accountant who isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty, I believe I’m the right person for the job.
Explain your interest in the position
I’m thrilled to be applying for the role of social media manager at Luxe Fashion. I’m an Extremely Online user, which explains why I was so good at bringing traffic and attention to my previous company’s social media feeds — and I’d love to do the same with yours.
4. Body Paragraph
Then it’s time to persuade them that you’re the best candidate for the role. Remember three key points when writing your body paragraphs and selling yourself as the ideal candidate:
A solid cover letter exudes self-assurance. Use proof in your cover letter if you can back up an argument (for example, how you’re the right fit for the job).
Be truthful to avoid embellishment
If you get caught lying or twisting the facts of your background, it might destroy your future. Don’t worry, and you’ll be able to find work using your previous experience.
Don’t add material that isn’t relevant to the job
Your cover letter should be tailored to the job and company you’re applying for. The required skills and credentials should include your cover letter (and resume) in response to the job posting.
5. Experience section
Writing advice (if you have some work experience)
Hiring managers will carefully examine your cover letter for proof that you are a suitable candidate for the job. Use your previous career experience and accomplishments to demonstrate (with numbers) that you have the necessary skills to complete the task.
Writing advice (if you don’t have a lot of career experience)
Writing a cover letter can be challenging for career applicants with little to no experience. Employers, thankfully, realize that many candidates (especially for entry-level positions) lack experience and instead review cover letters based on other criteria, such as:
Do you hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree? Do you have a GPA of at least 3.5, and have you received any awards. Have you earned a scholarship? Have you written a thesis?
Have you worked part-time or participated in social service, student government, clubs, sport, theatre, or other extracurricular activities? If you have any hobbies or passions that you pursue?
Self-motivation and goal-setting
What are your short- and long-term ambitions, and how do they relate to the work you’re applying for?
6. Don’t apologize for your lack of experience.
It’s easy to say things like “While I have no direct experience with marketing… since you don’t meet any job requirements.”
So why are you apologizing? Instead of focusing on your flaws, make a point of highlighting your talents and transferable abilities.
7. Don’t be too formal
You’re attempting to maintain a professional demeanor, and we understand. However, as job expert Mark Slack points out, being too formal can backfire on you: “It makes you seem insincere and even robotic, not at all like the cool, approachable, and awesome-to-work-with person you are.”
Even if you’re applying for a very corporate role, there’s usually space to be conversational and sincere.
8. Closing paragraph
Be respectful, optimistic, and continue to market yourself as a candidate in your cover letter closing. It’s crucial to compose the final paragraph as thoughtfully and creatively as the rest of your cover letter, so be sure to
- Thank the recruiting manager for taking the time to review your resume and cover letter
- Briefly explain why you’d be a good fit
- Reiterate your enthusiasm for the opportunity.
- Kindly insist that they give you an interview invitation.
Here’s a perfect example of a cover letter closing:
Thank you for taking the time to look at my submission. I am sure that my skills and experience qualify me for the 5th-grade science teacher at Ironsides Academy. I’m very excited to be a part of your school, and I’m looking forward to speaking with you about my candidacy in an interview.
Make a professional closing salutation at the end of your cover letter:
- Thank you
- Kind regards
Finally, enter the full name with two spaces between the salutation and the closing. Scan your written signature into your cover letter under your typed name for a professional (but optional) contact.
Proofread your cover letter
It’s now time to double-check that your cover letter meets cover letter best practices. Pose the following questions to yourself:
Is the style of cover letter correct?
Below is an example of a well-formatted cover letter.
A professional cover letter is between 200 and 350 words long, single-spaced, and one A4 page long. For your cover letter, the font should fit one of these preferred fonts, and the font size should not be smaller than size 12. The margins on either side of your cover letter should be 1”–112” to guarantee that it is readable and competent.
Did I use a fun, non-formal tone in my writing?
Long sentences and excessively formal wording are classic cover letter writing error. Such language makes your cover letter stiff and challenging to read.
Try the following to change the sound of your cover letter right away:
- Using contractions instead of total words, such as “don’t” instead of “do not?”
- Avoiding overused terms and phrases such as “dynamic,” “looking in the box,” and “synergistic.”
- Using more straightforward terms, such as “beneficial” instead of “advantageous.”
Template of a teaching Cover letter
87 Washington Street
Smithfield, CA 08055
May 26, 2020
Mr. Smith Doe
Smithfield Elementary School
Smithfield, BA 08790
Dear Mr. Smith,
I was delighted to hear about your need for an English instructor. With my extensive expertise and education in practical training and evaluation methodologies and contributing to the creation and creation of goals and instructional materials, I am ready to join your company as an immediate team player.
The below are some of the examples of my abilities and achievements:
• Currently employed as an English teacher at Pathways Primary School, where she is responsible for assessing and supervising 150+ students during the school year • Able to express complicated knowledge in a manner that students can understand
• Prior experience using unique instructional methods, logging all lectures, leading productive community meetings, and mentoring struggling students
• Previously worked at Mount Hill Secondary School, where I improved writing and reading comprehension test scores by 16% over four years.
In a fast-paced teaching atmosphere, my good initiative and excellent management abilities, together with my ability to function well under pressure, enable me to play a critical role. Furthermore, I feel that my ability to simplify lesson plans following relevant instructional goals would have an immediate effect on your school’s educational expectations.
Please find my resume enclosed for your consideration. I want to meet with you one-on-one to explore how my talents and abilities will benefit your organization. Please email me at HStewart@gmail.com or at (123) 456-7895.