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How to Write a Job Cover Letter


Besides your resume, the cover letter is the most important document in your job search. It allows you to introduce yourself to an employer and explain why you are a good fit for an open position. A cover letter should be written as a business letter and contain no spelling or grammatical errors. It should also use the same font as your resume.

There are four basic components of a cover letter:


When writing your letter, you should put your name and address first. Once you enter your contact information, enter twice and put the name of the person you are contacting. Since it is going to a potential employer, include the person’s title at the company. The company’s address should also be included. Enter twice again and write the date you are writing the letter.


If possible, you should avoid addressing the reader as “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam”. It is best to find the specific name of the person who will be reviewing your resume and letter.

The opening paragraph should grab the reader’s attention. You can mention the position you are applying for and how you found out about it. However, if you want to capture the reader’s attention, you can do something such as asking a question that applies who you are to the job requirements, or relating needed personality characteristics to yourself.


The second paragraph should be tailored to the open position and the company as much as possible. You could highlight the job requirements and use them to explain what you have accomplished in past positions. One creative way to do this is to create a table within the letter and put the company’s qualifications on the left with your experience on the right. The body should be the longest part of the letter.


In the final paragraph, you can request an interview for the position. Provide a phone number and an e-mail address where it is easiest for the employer to reach you. Always remember to thank the reader for his or her time and mention that you look forward to hearing from them.

Finally, if you are mailing the cover letter, print it out and sign it; preferably in black ink. You should include a closing such as “sincerely” or “regards” then leave four spaces to sign your name and have your name typed in underneath your signature.



“Purdue OWL Engagement.” Welcome to the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL). N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Mar. 2010. .

“The Writing Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.” Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) :: Architecture, Business, Engineering, IT, Humanities, Science. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Mar. 2010. .

“Write a Cover Letter.” Trinity College. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Mar. 2010. .

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