A Practical Guide to Perfecting the Cover Letter

by sysop in Applying for a Job, Looking for a Job

by Daniel Klaren

You hear about the importance of the cover letter to your application and know what the cover letter is supposed to accomplish – and yet it can be a struggle when it comes time to write one.  If you are having trouble organizing your thoughts for the content of your166548522 cover letter, use this outline as a starting point for what your cover letter should include.

I.                   Introduction

  • State what position you are applying for and at what company or organization.
  • Briefly explain why you are writing and why you are interested.
  • Tell the employer how you became aware of the position (if someone has referred you, this is where you may mention that person’s name).

II.                Body

  • Highlight the skills you possess that can be of value to the employer and are relevant to the position.
  • Be very specific and give examples (don’t describe yourself as “highly qualified”).
  • Draw any connections between your past work experience and the prospective position that may not be obvious from your resume.

III.             Closing

  • State what you would like to happen next (for example, if you would like to arrange a phone or in-person interview).
  • Thank the employer for considering your application.

Above all, make sure every detail of your cover letter is personalized to you, your background, and the position you are seeking. Like your resume, make sure it is carefully reviewed for typos. While this is merely the skeletal framework, hitting on all of these key points will put you well on your way to that perfect cover letter.