Cover Letters

How to Write a Cover Letter

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Writing a cover letter is an important step in the application process. What you include in your cover letter can give a potential employer insight into your personality, skills and abilities that you would bring to their company. As you create a cover letter to include in your next application, consider some of these examples and how they can impact the reader. This article will show you how to write a cover letter to get

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a tool that helps you introduce yourself as a person rather than a list of qualifications, education and experience. You can express your personality in an engaging, professional way, as well as convey some of the reasons you think you would be a good fit for an open position. When crafted well, your cover letter will expand upon some of the information on your resume, guiding a hiring manager through your professional and personal achievements. 

How to write a cover letter

Follow these steps to write a cover letter to help you get hired:

1. First, start the cover letter with the basics

Every cover letter should include some basic information about you, including your name, phone number and email address. You may also choose to include your title, your home address and links to your social media accounts and/or professional websites. For example, if you’re applying to a position as a social media manager, it makes sense to include links to your own social media accounts.

2. Second, address the letter to the hiring manager

If you don’t know who will be reviewing it, do some research to find out and include their name and title. When that person reads a letter that is addressed to them, rather than ‘To whom it may concern,’ they are more likely to feel like it’s been tailored to them. You can address it to Mr./Ms. [Last Name] if the company culture is more formal, or just include the manager’s first name in a casual, relaxed atmosphere.

3. Next, make your opening paragraph stand out

To make your opening paragraph appeal to the reader, you can explain why you are interested in the company and why you would be a good fit for the role.

Example: 

I have been passionate about ABC Marketing’s campaigns and initiatives since I saw the commercial that featured singing goats in the back of a truck. I was thrilled to see the position of Digital Marketing Director open up at this company, and I am confident in my ability to contribute to this innovative and vibrant marketing team. My experience has included managing national marketing campaigns through both online and print mediums with budgets of more than $250,000. I have also successfully increased my current company’s client base by 14% in the last 18 months.

4. Then, explain your abilities and achievements

Your resume will outline your past responsibilities and roles, so use the next paragraphs of your cover letter to expand on your professional achievements in a unique, engaging way. 

Example: 

I worked on 10 websites for various clients in a six-month period. Of those 10 websites, I was able to optimize eight of them to secure them in the top five hits on a Google search. I am continuing to work on the other two to further optimize them and increase their ranking in an online search.

5. Next, outline your research

When you apply for a job, it shows initiative if you’re willing to research the company and talk more about how your goals and vision align with the company values and growth strategy. 

Example: 

The position describes the plan to expand ABC Marketing’s online portal focused on health care marketing. This project matches well with my abilities and past experience as I previously built an online portal for a client who was looking to expand their marketing efforts. My knowledge of SEO and digital marketing campaigns will certainly benefit ABC Marketing, which is why I feel I would be an excellent fit for this role.

6. Last, write a strong closing statement

In the final paragraph, express appreciation to the person who has taken the time to read your cover letter. You may also choose to highlight any additional skills that apply to the position you are applying for. Include a call to action, such as contacting you or following up with additional information. Finally, close with a friendly word or phrase, such as ‘Thank you,’ ‘Sincerely,’ or ‘Regards.’ 

Example: 

I appreciate your time in reviewing my application for this position. I look forward to hearing from you regarding the job, and I am available to answer any questions you may have or provide further clarification. 

Sincerely, 
Jason Jones

Cover letter template

A cover letter template can give you an idea of how to formulate your letter. You can use this template to help you plan:

Your name
Your address
Your phone number

The date

Hiring manager’s name
Their title
Company name
Address

Dear [Hiring manager’s name],

Body of the letter explaining your qualifications and experience that make you a good candidate.

Thank the employer for reading your cover letter and considering you for the role.

State that you will follow up.

Closing, 
Your signature

Cover letter example

Add your own details that will customize the document for the position. Here is an example:

Dear Mr. Peterson,

As an enthusiast of EA Gaming and the innovative games that your company has brought to the market, I was excited to see a position become available for a Senior Developer. I feel I would be an excellent candidate for this position because of my past experience working for a video game company as a developer. During my six years in this role, I have come up with new concepts for games, as well as developed these games and fixed bugs as they moved through the development phase.

I also participate in an online gaming community where I have released some of the games that I developed on my own time. These games have been met with great enthusiasm and excitement among some of the top gamers across the world. My creativity has helped me to create games that are unique and appealing, while my experience in the gaming world has given me insights into the trends and desires of fellow gamers. In my past roles, I have worked closely with other members of development teams, showcasing my ability to be a strong team player. I am also proficient in C++ and C#. 

Thank you for taking the time to consider my application for the position of Senior Developer. I look forward to the next steps in the process. I feel confident that I could bring my strong creative, analytical and development skills to this role, helping to create games that millions of people would enjoy playing.

Sincerely,
Alex Martinez
Junior Developer

As you write your cover letter, consider what information you’d like to learn about a candidate if you were the hiring manager for an open position. Use this insight to decide what you want to include in your own letter to help identify yourself as a capable, experienced and appealing candidate.

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