Cover Letter Template
Finding a new job can be stressful, especially if you’re new to the job market. There are many steps involved, from finding the right job to composing a resume or filling out your application. A key part of this process is writing a cover letter. Writing a strong cover letter can set you apart from other applicants, so it’s important that you understand what makes a good cover letter.
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter is a formal letter you will write to an employer when you apply for a job. It is a persuasive argument and an opportunity. The goal of any cover letter is two-fold: (1) to persuade the reader to hire you and (2) to show the reader a quality or skill you have that may not be apparent just by reading through your resume.
The most important rule to remember about cover letters is that they should be specifically tailored to each job you apply for. Before you start writing, think about the ideal candidates for the job. What experience would they have? What skills? Then, using your own experience and skills, explain why you are the ideal candidate.
Remember: Unless specifically asked not to, you should always write a cover letter. It is also important that your letter is free of grammatical errors, so proofread carefully and ask a friend, parent, or mentor to read it too. If you read it aloud, you might catch minor errors you missed.
What are the parts of a cover letter?
TIP: A cover letter should never be longer than one page. A cover letter consists of these four main parts:
In the header, you will include your name and contact information. You will also write the name of the person to whom you are addressing the letter. Always address the letter to a specific person. If the job listing does not give a contact name, do not be afraid to make a polite phone call and ask, “Hello, I’m calling about the open position. To whom should I address my cover letter?”
The opening paragraph should be short, but it needs to grab your reader’s attention. Tell the reader why you are contacting them, what job you are applying for, how you heard about the job, and—briefly—why you are the ideal candidate.
You will include your evidence in the body of the letter. This section is the most important part of your cover letter because it is devoted to answering the question, “why should I hire you?” Discuss past job experiences and skills, giving brief examples of specific responsibilities you’ve had and projects accomplished that make you the ideal candidate now. If appropriate, also connect yourself with the company in this section. Don’t just explain why they should hire you, but also explain why you want to work for them. Hint: it’s a good idea to look at a company’s mission statement for this part.
In this short paragraph, you will thank the reader for considering you as a candidate and say that you look forward to hearing from them soon. If there is no clear deadline listed, you can let them know you will follow up in (x) amount of weeks.