Key Elements of a Cover Letter

The cover letter is usually the first item an employer reads from you. Your letter should immediately indicate what position you are applying for and then give information that demonstrates why you should be considered for the position. Do not repeat all of the information contained in your resume. Instead, highlight or elaborate on resume items that are directly applicable to the position for which you are applying. The following information should be included in your cover letter.

Information about you

Begin your cover letter with your contact information. It should be in block style, on the left margin of your paper, towards the top. Name Current home address Telephone number
Include a date as you would do with any business letter.

Contact Person's Name, Title, Employer, and Address

Including a specific name can get your letter and resume to the hiring manager more quickly and can be an effective personal touch. If you are applying for an advertised position that does not give a name to contact, call the company and ask for the department manager's name.
Choose the appropriate way to address the contact person. For example: Dear Mr. Johns (if a man's name is the contact) Dear Ms. Smith (if a woman's name is the contact) Dear Prospective Employer (if there is no contact name)  

Opening Paragraph

In the opening paragraph tell how you learned about the position. You may, for example, know of a job through: a classified advertisement an unsolicited mailing the Internet personal referrals

Middle Paragraph

This paragraph gives a summary of your background and critical skills (hard skills) that make you qualified for the position.

Second Middle Paragraph

This paragraph can be used to demonstrate your persuasive skills (soft skills).

Contact Information and Closing

At the end of the letter talk about your availability for the job, where you can be contacted, and when you are going to contact the hiring person for an appointment to discuss your application. If you have no contact name you may simply want to indicate your anticipation for a response in this part of the letter. Thank the person to whom you are writing for his/her time and consideration of your application.

Other Considerations:

Paper and Printing

  • Use white or ivory (20-25 lb.), 8 ½ x 11 bond paper printed on one side only.
  • Use the same paper for resume, cover letter, and envelopes if possible.
  • Make sure that there is no shadowing or dirty marks from your printer on the papers.

Error Prevention

  • Follow instructions in employment ads or recruitment directions.
  • Proofread! Look for spelling and formatting errors. Make sure recipient's name, company name, and title are correctly spelled in the letter and on the envelope.
  • Proofread again!
  • Have another person proofread your letter and resume.
  • Be sure there are no errors of fact.
  • Sign in blue or black ink.
  • Keep a copy of the cover letter and resume for your records.
  • Follow up with a phone call, about five days after expected delivery.

Layout and Design

  • Follow standard cover letter format.
  • Keep the cover letter to one page.
  • Set margins at 1 ½”.
  • Use a simple, easy to read font style, 10-14 point. (Times, Courier, or Helvetica)
  • Use boldface, italics, all-caps and underlining, but don't overdo it.

Planning and Tone

  • Tailor each cover letter to one specific position.
  • Use industry jargon specific to your career field.
  • Identify the employer's key words and use them.
  • Make all statements positive. Check the tone by asking yourself if each sentence leaves a positive impression.
  • Show originality but not cuteness.
  • Use action verbs and phrases .
  • Sound determined and confident not desperate.
  • Organize context in a reasonable and logical order.
  • Use correct grammar.
  • Keep sentences short.
  • Keep paragraphs short.
  • Use short words and simple language.
  • Make every word count.
  • Punctuate using commas, dashes, and periods.
  • Focus on the employer's need for a worker, rather than your need for a job.
  • Tell how your skills and personal qualities match the employer's needs.
  • Focus on what you can do for the employer and how you contribute to the organization.
  • Show you have researched the company double check those facts.
  • Be specific avoid general statements.
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  • Career Planning
  • Finding a Job
  • Cover Letters

How To Write a Job Application Letter (With Examples)

application letter parts

What is a Job Application Letter?

Tips for writing a job application letter, how to get started.

  • Writing Guidelines
  • What to Include in Each Section

Simple Formatting Using a Template

Tips for writing an effective letter, sample job application letter, sending an email application, review more letter examples.

Do you need to write a letter to apply for a job? Most of the time, the answer is yes. Even when employers don’t require a job application letter , writing one will help you highlight your skills and achievements and get the hiring manager’s attention. The only time not to send one is when the job listing says not to do so. It can help, and it definitely won't hurt to include an application letter with your resume.

A job application letter, also known as a cover letter , should be sent or uploaded with your resume when applying for jobs. While your resume offers a history of your work experience and an outline of your skills and accomplishments, the job application letter you send to an employer explains why you are qualified for the position and should be selected for an interview.

Writing this letter can seem like a challenging task. However, if you take it one step at a time, you'll soon be an expert at writing application letters to send with your resume.

Melissa Ling / The Balance

Before you begin writing your job application letter, do some groundwork. Consider what information you want to include (keeping in mind that space is limited).

Remember, this letter is making a case for your candidacy for the position. But you can do better than just regurgitating your resume—instead, highlight your most relevant skills, experiences, and abilities.

Analyze the Job Posting

To include the most convincing, relevant details in your letter, you'll need to know what the employer wants.

The biggest clues are within the job advertisement, so spend some time decoding the job ad . Next, match your qualifications with the employer's wants and needs .

Include Your Most Relevant Qualifications

Make a list of your relevant experience and skills. For instance, if the job ad calls for a strong leader, think of examples of when you've successfully led a team. Once you've jotted down some notes, and have a sense of what you want to highlight in your letter, you're ready to get started writing.

Writing Guidelines for Job Application Letters

Writing a job application letter is very different from a quick email to a friend or a thank-you note to a relative. Hiring managers and potential interviewers have certain expectations when it comes to the letter's presentation and appearance, from length (no more than a page) to font size and style to letter spacing :

Length: A letter of application should be no more than one page long. Three to four paragraphs is typical.

Format and Page Margins: A letter of application should be single-spaced with a space between each paragraph. Use about 1" margins and align your text to the left, which is the standard alignment for most documents.

Font: Use a traditional font such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. The font size should be between 10 and 12 points.

What To Include in Each Section of the Letter

There are also set rules for the sections included in the letter, from salutation to sign-off, and how the letter is organized. Here's a quick lowdown on the main sections included in a job application letter:

Heading: A letter of application should begin with both your and the employer's contact information (name, address, phone number, email) followed by the date. If this is an email rather than an actual letter, include your contact information at the end of the letter, after your signature.

  •   Header Examples

Salutation: This is your polite greeting. The most common salutation is "Dear Mr./Ms." followed by the person's last name. Find out more about appropriate cover letter salutations , including what to do if you don't know the person's name, or are unsure of a contact's gender.

Body of the letter: Think of this section as being three distinct parts.

In the first paragraph , you'll want to mention the job you are applying for and where you saw the job listing.

The next paragraph(s) are the most important part of your letter. Remember how you gathered all that information about what employers were seeking, and how you could meet their needs? This is where you'll share those relevant details on your experience and accomplishments.

The third and last part of the body of the letter will be your thank you to the employer; you can also offer follow-up information.

Complimentary Close: Sign off your email with a polite close, such as "Best" or "Sincerely," followed by your name.

  • Closing Examples

Signature: When you're sending or uploading a printed letter, end with your signature, handwritten, followed by your typed name. If this is an email, simply include your typed name, followed by your contact information.

  • Signature Examples

Overwhelmed by all these formatting and organization requirements? One way to make the process of writing a job application easier is to use a job application letter template to create your own personalized job application letters for applying for a job. Having a template can help save you time if you are sending a lot of application letters.

Be sure that each letter you send is personalized to the company and position; do not send the same letter to different companies.

  • Always write one. Unless a job posting specifically says not to send a letter of application or cover letter, you should always send one. Even if the company does not request a letter of application, it never hurts to include one. If they do ask you to send a letter, make sure to follow the directions exactly (for example, they might ask you to send the letter as an email attachment, or type it directly into their online application system).
  • Use business letter format. Use a formal business letter format when writing your letter. Include your contact information at the top, the date, and the employer’s contact information. Be sure to provide a salutation at the beginning, and your signature at the end.
  • Sell yourself. Throughout the letter, focus on how you would benefit the company. Provide specific examples of times when you demonstrated skills or abilities that would be useful for the job, especially those listed in the job posting or description. If possible, include examples of times when you added value to a company.

Numerical values offer concrete evidence of your skills and accomplishments.

  • Use keywords. Reread the job listing, circling any keywords (such as skills or abilities that are emphasized in the listing). Try to include some of those words in your cover letter. This will help the employer see that you are a strong fit for the job.
  • Keep it brief. Keep your letter under a page long, with no more than about four paragraphs. An employer is more likely to read a concise letter.
  • Proofread and edit. Employers are likely to overlook an application with a lot of errors. Read through your cover letter, and if possible, ask a friend or career counselor to review the letter. Proofread for any grammar or spelling errors.

This is a job application letter sample.  Download the letter template (compatible with Google Docs or Word Online) or read the example below.

Sample Job Application Letter (Text Version)

Elizabeth Johnson 12 Jones Street Portland, Maine 04101 555-555-5555

August 11, 2020

Mark Smith Human Resources Manager Veggies to Go 238 Main Street Portland, Maine 04101

Dear Mr. Smith,

I was so excited when my former coworker, Jay Lopez, told me about your opening for an administrative assistant in your Portland offices. A long-time Veggies to Go customer and an experienced admin, I would love to help the company achieve its mission of making healthy produce as available as takeout.

I’ve worked for small companies for my entire career, and I relish the opportunity to wear many hats and work with the team to succeed. In my latest role as an administrative assistant at Beauty Corp, I saved my employer thousands of dollars in temp workers by implementing a self-scheduling system for the customer service reps that cut down on canceled shifts. I also learned web design, time sheet coding, and perfected my Excel skills. 

I’ve attached my resume for your consideration and hope to speak with you soon about your needs for the role.

Best Regards,

Elizabeth Johnson (signature hard copy letter)

Elizabeth Johnson

When you are sending your letter via email include the reason you are writing in the subject line of your message:

Subject Line Example

Subject: Elizabeth Johnson – Administrative Assistant Position

List your contact information in your signature, rather than in the body of the letter:

Email Signature Example

Elizabeth Johnson 555-555-5555

Review more examples of professionally written cover letters for a variety of circumstances, occupations, and types of jobs.

CareerOneStop. " How Do I Write a Cover Letter ?" Accessed July 14, 2021.

University of Maryland Global Campus. " Frequently Asked Questions ." Accessed July 14, 2021.

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application letter parts

5 Parts Of A Cover Letter (AKA How To Write A Good One!)

Hiring manager reads a good cover letter

Every resume should be accompanied by the five parts of a cover letter . In this article, I am going to demonstrate the mechanics of a well written cover letter. I hope this provides some knowledge about the parts of a cover letter, and enables you to generate interest from a hiring manager.

How do you structure a cover letter?

A great cover letter has five parts: the salutation, the opening, the hook, the paragraph of knowledge, and the close.

1. The Salutation (The Hello)

Before writing your cover letter, you should research the company you're applying to. This includes finding the name of the hiring manager who will be reading your resume and cover letter. Get a name, any name. By hook or by crook try to get a name. Sometimes you can't—then try Dear hiring manager .

2. The Opening (The Grab)

The opening paragraph of your cover letter is your introduction and presents the reader with some immediate and focused information about your connection to the company. Don't just reiterate what you say in your resume. Explain what you admire about the company you're applying to. Essentially, you need to tell a story about why you want to work for them. It should "grab" the hiring manager and disrupt them in some way (hence a disruptive cover letter ).

3. The Second Paragraph (The Hook)

This paragraph should define some examples of the work performed and the results achieved. It should be connected to your resume. This does not mean you should copy verbatim what is in the resume. Rather, cover some key competencies that you feel define your success. Provide the hiring manager with some added context about your unique background, blending those facts with language from the job description. Set the stage for how you are qualified for the role you are applying to. But, don't overdo it.

In the event you are highlighting some information not contained in the resume (if you are switching careers, or have a unique value proposition), this is the perfect place to cover that information.

4. The Third Paragraph (Paragraph Of Knowledge)

Next, demonstrate something you know about the company (its goals, recent achievements, etc.) that prompted you to write. Then, select a couple of examples from your resume that you believe will impress recruiters and hiring managers . Reword these achievements and frame them in a way that shows the employers what you can do for them. This shows the reader that you did some preliminary homework and understand the company's drivers and goals.

Try to include quantifiable examples wherever possible since numbers usually resonate more than words.

5. The Fourth Paragraph (The Close)

In the closing paragraph, quickly summarize what you offer, ask for the interview , and close by thanking the hiring manager for taking the time to read your cover letter.

It's important to help the reader connect the dots to show them why you are a great job candidate, a business-of-one who can provide a service they need with a personal connection to the company that is invaluable.

That's it!

What should not be included in a cover letter?

Your cover letter should not include:

  • A boring opening line
  • Long paragraphs
  • A recap of your resume
  • Irrelevant information
  • A boring closing statement

Need more help with your job search ?

​ Join our community to learn how to UNLEASH your true potential to get what you want from work!

This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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  • 3 Tips On What NOT To Do In Your Cover Letter ›
  • 7 Cover Letter Mistakes You Make When Applying Via Email ›
  • The 10 Key Components Of A Great Resume ›
  • 4 Reasons Why Writing A Cover Letter DOESN'T Have To Be Difficult ›
  • How To Write A Cover Letter That Stands Out To Recruiters - Work It Daily | Where Careers Go To Grow ›
  • 7 Easy Tips For Writing A Stand-Out Cover Letter - Work It Daily | Where Careers Go To Grow ›
  • When Should You Use 'Dear Hiring Team' On Your Cover Letter? - Work It Daily ›
  • Parts of a Cover Letter & How to Structure its Components ›
  • 7 Key Components of an Effective Cover Letter | ›
  • What To Include In A Cover Letter (With Examples) – Zippia ›


3 Tips For Overcoming Your Biggest Job Search FEARS

We get it. Looking for work can be scary, especially if you’ve been at it for a long time and haven’t gotten any results.

Understanding which fears are getting in the way and how to overcome them will make all the difference. Sometimes you might not be aware of which obstacle is getting in the way of your goals. If you want to overcome these fears once and for all, we invite you to join us!

In this training, you’ll learn how to:

  • Utilize strategies for coping with your job search fears
  • Be confident in your job search—from writing your resume to networking
  • Face your fears and move forward

Join our CEO, J.T. O'Donnell, and Director of Training Development & Coaching, Christina Burgio, for this live event on Wednesday, October 5th at 12 pm ET.

CAN'T ATTEND LIVE? That's okay. You'll have access to the recording and the workbook after the session!

What To Do When You're Not The "Ideal Candidate"

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What To Include In A Cover Letter (With Examples)

  • Cover Letter Format
  • Salutation and Greeting
  • Who To Address When Unknown
  • How To Start A Cover Letter
  • How To End A Cover Letter
  • Best Cover Letter Font And Size
  • Cover Letter Spacing
  • Cover Letter Length
  • Key Elements Of A Cover Letter
  • How To Write An Address
  • Official Letter Format
  • Cover Letter Opening

Find a Job You Really Want In

Cover letters are the first introduction to you as a person and potential employee. While resumes cover your work experience and skills, the cover letter explains why you, specifically, should get the job. It’s where you can showcase your writing skills, why you want the position, and highlight your relevant skills and qualifications.

If you’re looking to write up a cover letter for a job you’re applying to, or if you want to see if your letter checks all the boxes, then this article will help you out. While a hiring manager may not select you entirely because of your cover letter, giving it that extra bit of shine could push you into the top candidate slot.

Key Takeaways

Your cover letter should include:

Your contact information and the date

The employer’s contact information

Body paragraphs

A closing paragraph

You should customize your cover letter to every position you apply to.

Focus on what you can add to the company in your cover letter.

Work keywords from the job description into your cover letter.

What to Include in a Cover Letter

What to include in a cover letter

Example cover letter, cover letter tips, what not to put in a cover letter, final thoughts, cover letter faq.

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Cover letters, like every business communication, have a set of rules that you’re expected to follow. They should be short, confident, and include information relevant to the job. The format of a cover letter determines what goes where, meaning that you won’t have to spend long organizing your letter.

With that in mind, here’s everything you need to include in each part of your cover letter :

How to write a cover letter

Your Contact Information and the Date

The very first key element your cover letter is going to be a header that includes your contact information. You’re going to list your name, your address, your phone number, and your email address. Feel free to include your LinkedIn contact information or a link to your online portfolio .

Make sure you create a professional email address if you don’t already have one. Something like [email protected]. It’s another way to make a good first impression on the hiring manager.

Lulu Paige 333 First Street Los Angeles, CA , 90001 (000) 111-2222 [email protected] January 1, 2023

Employer’s Contact Information

Even though most cover letters are submitted online nowadays, it’s still a rule of thumb to include the company’s contact information. Google the company to find their local address and list it beneath your own contact information.

If you can’t find out the company’s local address, don’t sweat it — but if you can find it, include it just for tradition’s sake.

Adam Smith Recruiter TopNotch Company 111 West Street Los Angeles, CA 90001

How you address your cover letter is more important than you might think. Try to avoid greetings like “ To Whom It May Concern ” or “ Dear Sir or Madam. ” While there’s nothing inherently wrong with either, they’re seen as out of date and impersonal.

Hiring managers value it if you show you’re willing to put in the extra effort to find out who to address the letter to. Put effort into finding out the name of the person who’s going to be reading your cover letter. Call the company’s front office or review their website to find their hiring manager’s name.

Acceptable addresses include:

Dear Chris Rogers, Dear Mr. Rogers, Dear Mr. Chris Rogers, Dear Hiring Manager, Dear Human Resources Manager,

While conventional wisdom states that using the person’s title (in this case “Mr.”) is preferable and more polite, be very careful about assuming someone’s gender. If their honorific is Dr., then it’s safe to include, but unless you know what the hiring manager’s preferred pronouns are, it’s best to just use their full name.

Body Paragraphs

The body of your cover letter is the most important part. It tells the employer what job you’re applying for, why they should bring you in for an interview , and how you’re going to follow up.

First paragraph. This is your cover letter introduction . It’s where you’re going to grab the employer’s attention and make them want to read the rest of your cover letter.

Let’s not waste any time in this paragraph — go ahead and tell them which position you’re applying for and how it relates to your background, and show them that you’re excited about the opportunity.

I am interested in applying for your Social Media Manager position that I saw advertised on Zippia .com. After contributing to the growth and success of my last employer’s presence on Facebook and Instagram, I am seeking new challenges with a company that is looking for someone with exceptional leadership and management abilities.

Second paragraph. This is where you’re going to tell the hiring manager what you have to offer. Use this paragraph to list your qualifications, give examples from your work experience , and quantify any of your achieved results.

I know my proven leadership skills, strong commitment to growing a social media base, and flexibility with regard to assignments would allow me to make a significant contribution to TopNotch Company. I welcome the opportunity to discuss how my qualifications could benefit your company’s continued success.

Pro tip: Go into more depth on your relevant qualifications, but make sure not to copy your resume word for word. Use your cover letter to highlight the most important reasons why you’re the ideal candidate.

Third paragraph. Discuss what you know (and like) about the company. This is your chance to impress the employers even further by showing them that you care enough to do some background research on the company , and how you can contribute to their mission.

TopNotch’s commitment to a sustainable future aligns with and inspires my own values of environmental consciousness and stewardship. Even as a digital marketer , I found ways to reduce my office’s carbon emissions by 11%, and I’d be thrilled to work for a company that values and prioritizes such changes.

Feel free to mention any current events, information about the company’s history, their core values, or their mission statement.

Closing Line

The final paragraph is where you’re going to close your cover letter . Summarize what you could bring to the position and request an interview or a phone call.

I’d like to thank you again for taking the time to review my application and resume, and I welcome the opportunity to discuss my qualifications with you in detail.

Picking an appropriate and successful sign-off is trickier than you might think. A cover letter is a professional document, so you have to be strategic with everything you write.

With that in mind, here are some sign-offs to choose from that hiring managers respond well to:

Best regards


Thanks in advance

And here are some sign-offs you should avoid at all costs:

Best wishes


Sent from my iPhone

You get the idea. Pick an appropriate sign-off, sign your name, and then you’ve got yourself a cover letter!

Lulu Paige 333 First Street Los Angeles, CA, 90001 (000) 111-2222 [email protected] January 1, 2020 Adam Smith Recruiter TopNotch Company 111 West Street Los Angeles, CA 90001 Dear Mr. Smith, I am interested in applying for your Social Media Manager position that I saw advertised on After contributing to the growth and success of my last employer’s presence on Facebook and Instagram, I am seeking new challenges with a company that is looking for someone with exceptional leadership and management abilities. As you will see in my enclosed resume, while serving as a Social Media Intern, I was tasked with onboarding new employees and managing their publishing schedules as well as coming up with content for my own calendar. My ability to juggle these different tasks reinforced my desire to advance in my career and step into a management role. I know my proven leadership skills, strong commitment to growing a social media base, and flexibility with regard to assignments would allow me to make a significant contribution to TopNotch Company. I welcome the opportunity to discuss how my qualifications could benefit your company’s continued success. I’d like to thank you again for taking the time to review my application and resume, and I welcome the opportunity to discuss my qualifications with you in detail. Sincerely, Lulu Paige

Knowing all the parts of a cover letter is essential, but that’s not the only trick to writing an excellent cover letter. Putting in a bit of extra effort will make your cover letter stand out from the rest, and will therefore make you more likely to get an interview.

Customize each cover letter. When you’re sending out applications to multiple companies, it’s essential to tailor each cover letter and resume for the job. Your resume customization may just take a few strategic keyword changes and emphasizing different parts of your experience.

Your cover letter customization, however, should be much more thorough. Hiring managers and recruiters can spot a generic cover letter a mile away, so be sure to talk specifically about why you’re interested in the company and what particular value you’d have for the company.

Find the hiring manager. In the spirit of customization, try your best to find the hiring manager or recipient’s name. Review the job posting for contact info, research the company’s website, and look on LinkedIn if you’re stuck. Or just call the company’s HR department and ask.

If you’re still stuck, “Dear Hiring Manager” or one of its alternatives will work.

Don’t copy your resume. Instead of repeating every point from your resume, pick one or two bullet points to really emphasize. Think about what accomplishments you can quantify since those are the most compelling evidence of your past success.

Also, your cover letter should answer the “how” and “why” of your career, so discuss how you achieved those awesome results and why you enjoy doing things your way.

Always focus on the company. A cover letter is your chance to sell yourself, but that mostly means highlighting how the company will benefit from your skills , methodologies, and contributions.

Steal keywords from the job description. Highlight keywords from the job description like skills, qualifications, and attributes, and then incorporate some of those words throughout your resume and cover letter. That way, it’s super easy for a recruiter or hiring manager to see how your experience matches up with the job requirements.

Match the company culture. Spend some time researching the company on their website and scouting employees on LinkedIn. If you can match the tone of the company’s written communications, you’ll be in good shape for presenting as a solid cultural fit.

Let your personality shine. Resumes are boring, but cover letters are your chance to showcase who you are as a person as well as a professional. Don’t go overly formal (unless you’re applying to a conservative firm).

Hiring managers want to know what kind of person you’re like to work with, and while the interview will inform them more fully, your cover letter is meant to whet the reader’s appetite so they want to call you in for an interview in the first place.

Open and finish strong. Cover letters are generally skimmed, so you really want to make your opening and closing lines count. Open with an attention grabber and finish with a strong call-to-action and reminder of your awesomeness and enthusiasm.

Keep it short . Cover letters should never be more than 400 words, but we recommend aiming for a 200-300 word count. As we said, recruiters usually skim these things, so make it easy for them.

Review and edit. Never send a cover letter without a proofread, a spellcheck program, and, if possible, a trusted confidant to read it over. Another pair of eyes might catch things you didn’t notice re-reading it over and over again.

Email cover letters. If you’re emailing your cover letter directly (as opposed to attaching it or mailing it physically), be sure to include a descriptive subject line.

Often, employers will tell you how to label your email in the job posting, so follow any directions there. If not, a subject line that includes your name and the position you’re applying for is a safe bet.

For an email cover letter, don’t include contact information at the start. Instead, put your contact information after your signature (you can skip your physical address) and leave out the company’s contact information entirely.

Knowing what to avoid putting in your cover letter can be just as helpful as knowing what to put in it. Here are a few items you should leave out:

Lies (even little white ones or stretched truths).

Anything about salary.

Negativity about your current job.

Information about your personal life.

Long-winded paragraphs.

Unneccessary or irrelevant information.

Grammatical errors.

Misspelled words (including names).

Unprofessional email addresses or file names.

Polarizing or controversial hobbies or opinions.

Cover letters are one of your most valuable tools when it comes to applying for jobs. They let you go into detail about your qualifications, demonstrate your communication skills , and show that you’re interested in a specific company.

When you write your cover letter, make sure to include your professional contact information, go into detail about your relevant skills, and show that you’re motivated to help the company achieve its goals. Show the hiring manager why you’re the best person for the position, and you’re on your way to getting the job of your dreams .

Do you need a cover letter?

Whether or not you need a cover letter will depend on the application’s requirements, but they’re highly recommended. Unless the instructions explicitly state not to send in a cover letter, it’s recommended to include one.

Cover letters allow you to focus on skills relevant to the job that may not fit into your resume. It also lets you show that you’ve looked into the company by mentioning something about its culture, knowing the hiring manager’s name, or mentioning key skills.

What should you include in a cover letter?

A cover letter should include:

Your contact information. Include your name, address, phone number, and email address.

Company’s contact information. This should include the name of the company, their phone number, email address, and physical address if you can find it.

Salutation. Do your best to address this directly to the hiring manager that will be reviewing your application.

Introduction. This is the part where you say who you are and why you’re applying.

Body. This should be one to two paragraphs that cover your relevant skills, why you think you’d be a good fit for the job, and show your interest.

Closing line. Make sure to thank the hiring manager for their time. It’s also recommended to include a call to action, such as saying “I look forward to hearing from you.”

Sign off. Make sure to end with a professional closing, such as “Sincerely,” and then your full name.

How do you format a cover letter?

Cover letters should be formatted in standard business format. That means that it should use a 10 or 12-point legible font, such as Times New Roman, have double spacing between paragraphs, and be no longer than a page .

Harvard Business Review — How to Write a Cover Letter

National Careers Service — How to Write a Cover Letter

University of Wisconsin-Madison — Writing Cover Letters

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Maddie Lloyd was a writer for the Zippia Advice blog focused on researching tips for interview, resume, and cover letter preparation. She's currently a graduate student at North Carolina State University's department of English concentrating in Film and Media Studies.

Matt Warzel a President of a resume writing firm (MJW Careers, LLC) with 15+ years of recruitment, outplacement, career coaching and resume writing experience. Matt is also a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR) with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Marketing Focus) from John Carroll University.

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  • The 6 Parts Of Your Cover Letter And What To Include In Them


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  1. What Are the Parts of an Application Letter?

    The main parts of an application letter include the address section, heading of the letter, the opening paragraph stating the reason for writing a letter, the main body and the closing paragraph. In some cases, an applicant may add a paragr...

  2. The Importance of Personalizing Your Teacher Application Cover Letter

    When applying for a teaching position, one of the most crucial parts of your application is the cover letter. This document serves as your introduction to the hiring committee and is an opportunity for you to showcase your skills, experienc...

  3. What Is a Solicited Application Letter?

    A solicited application letter is a letter that a person writes requesting for an interview for a particular job position. It may be used to introduce the applicant to the manager and to highlight the information provided on the resume.

  4. Job Application Letter: Examples, What to Include & Writing Tips

    What to Include in a Job Application Letter · 1. Letter header · 2. Salutation · 3. Introduction paragraph · 4. Body paragraph(s) · 5. Closing

  5. 7 Key Components of an Effective Cover Letter

    What are the parts of a cover letter? · 1. Header · 2. Greeting · 3. Introduction · 4. Qualifications · 5. Values and goals · 6. Call to action · 7.

  6. Key Elements of a Cover Letter

    Key Elements of a Cover Letter · Information about you · Date · Contact Person's Name, Title, Employer, and Address · Salutation · Opening Paragraph · Middle

  7. Parts of the Application Letter

    Parts of the Application Letter · 1. Sender's name, mailing address. and phone number (top right of the. letter) · 2. Date (below the sender's name etc) · 3.

  8. How to Structure a Cover Letter

    A cover letter is comprised of several parts, including contact information, a salutation, the body, and a closing. Here's how to structure

  9. How To Write a Job Application Letter (With Examples)

    The next paragraph(s) are the most important part of your letter. Remember how you gathered all that information about what employers were

  10. Parts of Application Letter

    PARTS OF APPLICATION LETTER · 1. The sender's address · 2. The date of the letter · 3. The address of letter · 4. Salutation · 5. The body of the letter · 6.

  11. 5 Parts Of A Cover Letter (AKA How To Write A Good One!)

    Every resume should be accompanied by a well-written cover letter. A great cover letter has five parts: the salutation, the opening, the hook, the paragraph

  12. Letter of Application: Job Example, Format & How-To Guide

    What is a Letter of Application? · Header with your name and contact details · Hiring manager's address · Opening paragraph introducing yourself and your

  13. Parts of a Cover Letter & How to Structure its Components

    Key Takeaway · Cover letter header · Cover letter salutation · Cover letter body which includes the first, second, and third paragraphs · Cover letter closing.

  14. What To Include In A Cover Letter (With Examples)

    First paragraph. This is your cover letter introduction. · Second paragraph. This is where you're going to tell the hiring manager what you have