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Cover Letter Writing Help

Each time you apply for a job it is important to include a well-written cover letter with you resume. A cover letter is a letter that accompanies or "covers" your resume whether you mail, email, or fax your resume.  Take the time to write a good cover letter, it is the employer’s first impression of you.

Top reasons to include a cover letter:

  • A cover letter expresses interest in a specific job posting and clearly shows how you meet the requirements as listed on the job descriptions
  • You can demonstrate your written communication skills in a professional way
  • A cover letter allows you to show your knowledge of the organization  and is a formal request for an interview

Cover letters have 3 – 4 paragraphs and should be targeted to each position you are applying for:

First Paragraph - Identify the job you are applying for and how you learned about it. Indicate that you have attached enclosures with the letter (e.g. resume and portfolio). This paragraph should be brief; no more than two or three sentences.

Second Paragraph - State your qualifications for the position. Deconstruct the job description and list the required skills, duties and responsibilities. Demonstrate how your background and experience qualify you for the job by highlighting 2 -3 relevant qualifications, and giving examples of how you used those qualifications. Be as specific as possible, and refer the reader to your resume for additional details.  Remember you are in a competition –you need to articulate why you are better qualified than other applicants. 

Third Paragraph - Refer to research you have done about the company and how it relates to your interests. This is a good place to illustrate your knowledge about the employer, key projects they have underway, their corporate culture, or any unique working conditions.

Fourth Paragraph - Close with a one- or two-sentence paragraph thanking your reader for his or her time and consideration.  Request an interview and include your contact details.

Check out an example of a cover letter and get some cover letter tips.

Download our
Resume & Cover Letters Guide.