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Anatomy of a Good Cover Letter

Write a strong introduction to your resume

Every resume you send out should come with a cover letter, whether by mail or email. A cover offers an introduction to you and your qualifications and describes how the experience you describe in your resume will make a difference for your potential employer. In drafting a resume, follow this general structure.

Parts of a good cover letter

  • Meet and greet (first paragraph). Concisely explain how you found out about this job lead and explain that you would like to apply for the job. Note generally what you do to qualify you for consideration. Be sure to use language that signals you pay attention to details, conveys professionalism, and demonstrates your written communication skills.
  • Skills and experience profile (second and third paragraphs). Offer a short profile of your skills and expertise and highlight any accomplishments that would get this employer's attention.
  • Reason to Interview (fourth paragraph). Make clear why your particular abilities could make a difference for this company in this position. Show you've done your research into the company in this paragraph and thought how your capabilities are strong match for the job. In short, give this company a reason to call you up for an interview.
  • Promise to follow up (last paragraph). Close by thanking the company for reviewing your resume and promise to follow up with a short call to learn more about the position.

Cover letter guidelines

  • Keep it concise, usually one page.
  • Ask a reliable source to read and edit your cover letter before you send it.
  • Write multiple drafts, editing and revising as you go.
  • Use bullet points if you can, itemizing your skills or job experience.
  • Keep the formatting simple, using basic fonts.

Sample cover letter

1234 Hire Me Drive
Anytown, USA 12345


December 21, 2014


E. M. Ployment
Director of Recruiting
CompanyCo
567 E. Opportunity Way
Jobsville, USA 34567


Dear Mr. Ployment:

I am responding to the employment opportunity listed on your website. Please accept this letter and accompanying resume as evidence of my interest in applying for the (position title) at (company name).

I have the following experience (add experience here) which makes me uniquely qualified for this position.

I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and discuss how my skills would meet the needs of your company. Attached is my resume for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Your Name



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