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What Is a Cover Letter?

Understanding cover letters, types of cover letters, how to write a cover letter, tips for writing a cover letter.

  • Cover Letter FAQs

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What Is a Cover Letter? Types and How To Write One

cover letter what does it mean

A cover letter is a written document commonly submitted with a job application outlining the applicant's credentials and interest in the open position. Since a cover letter is often one of only two documents sent to a potential employer, a well- or poorly-written letter can impact whether the applicant is called for an interview .

Key Takeaways

  • A cover letter is commonly submitted with a job application explaining the applicant's credentials and interest in the position.
  • A good cover letter complements the resume and explains why the candidate is the ideal person for the job.
  • Common cover letter mistakes can sink a job applicant.

Investopedia / Joules Garcia

Most job postings are done online and no longer require a physical application. Instead, applicants send companies a copy of their resume along with a cover letter either by email or with a hard copy through the mail. A resume offers a glimpse into the professional and academic experience of a potential employee. The cover letter, on the other hand, acts as an introduction written by the candidate to express their interest in the position and what makes them the best fit for the job.

A good cover letter complements a resume by expanding on items relevant to the job. In essence, it's a sales pitch that describes why the applicant is the best person for the position. Career experts advise job seekers to spend time customizing each cover letter for the particular position, rather than using a generic missive. Although this requires extra effort, it can be very helpful in allowing an applicant to stand out above the competition.

The cover letter provides information to the employer about who the candidate is as a professional and as a person. This includes their areas of interest, professional goals, knowledge, skills they've gained over the years, achievements, passions, and aspirations. The cover letter should be a one-page document that provides a clear and concise idea about why the candidate is the best person for the job . It should also highlight the cultural fit.

While there is no set template for a cover letter, the type of letter that you write will depend on the requirements of each individual company or employer. The information that is included in a cover letter will vary depending on the goals and purpose of your application.

  • An application cover letter is the most familiar type of cover letter. This is generally written in response to a vacancy that is posted on a company's website or a job board. In addition to answering any specific questions posted in the job ad, it may also highlight any experience or skills that are suitable for the position.
  • A referral cover letter is similar to an application letter, but it includes the name of a colleague or employee who recommended the applicant for the open position. A strong referral can help you stand out against other applicants.
  • A prospecting cover letter , also known as a letter of interest, is written by a job seeker and addressed to a company where they would like to work. However, it is not aimed at a specific role or vacancy. Instead, this type of letter inquires about open positions in general and may highlight any special skills that make the writer suitable for the company.

When employers post a job ad that requires a cover letter, they may specify certain requirements for the cover letter to address. For example, they may require applicants to answer certain questions, or to respect a certain word limit. It is important to follow these requirements, as they reflect on the applicant's ability to understand and follow directions.

If the employer does not set any expectations, a typical cover letter should be about a page or less, and may include a formal greeting, contact information, and links to the applicant's portfolio or work. It should highlight any special skills, and explain why you would be a good fit for the position. This is your chance to impress the employer: Even if your resume does not have everything an employer wants, a well-written cover letter can make the applicant stand out from the crowd.

However, it is possible to include too much information. Most employers will simply glance at the majority of their cover letters, and a long-winded essay might end up at the bottom of the pile. A few short paragraphs explaining your skills, and why you chose that specific employer, should be enough to put your best foot forward.

Writing a cover letter doesn't have to be tedious—even though it may seem like it's a chore. Here are a few simple tips you may want to consider when composing your cover letter:

  • Personalize your letter for each role. Never use a generic cover letter. This means you have to write a new one for each position. Be sure to include your strengths and skills, and explain why you’re the perfect candidate.
  • Include contact information. If the posting doesn't include the hiring manager's name, call the company , or check its website. Including this person's name gives your letter a proper greeting and also shows you have initiative. And don't forget to add your contact information, too. This is important if your resume gets separated from your cover letter.
  • Simplify your letter. Communicate clearly and concisely. Using complex words and sentences would most certainly fail to convey your intentions with the company and the person reading the letter probably won't bother with the rest of your application.
  • Be specific when needed. Don't rehash your resume, so be sure to quantify your accomplishments. For instance, expand on your marketing experience in your cover letter by saying you brought in 200 additional clients each month and increased revenue to $10,000. This can set you apart from candidates with vague personal details.
  • Proofread. After you’ve written the letter, go over it a few times to ensure there are no errors. Then ask someone else to do a once-over and recommend any changes you may need to make.

A simple, focused cover letter without any typos or grammatical errors will get you noticed by potential employers.

A perfect resume can often be sabotaged by a poorly thought-out cover letter or one that is laden with mistakes. Whether you include the letter as per required submission guidelines, or you simply want to emphasize your interest in the job, make sure you avoid making these blunders.

  • Names matter. This includes the name of the hiring manager, the company, and yes, even yours. Make sure you have the right names and the correct spelling. And don't forget to change the names if you're using the same cover letter for multiple jobs.
  • Restating your resume. Since the cover letter is used to identify your skills and explain how your previous experience is applicable to the desired position, don't restate the stuff on your resume. Remember, the cover letter should complement your resume, not just summarize it.
  • Keep your letter tight. Recruiters often go through hundreds of applications and don't have time to read through a three-page missive. The absolute maximum length for a cover letter should be one page, with a few concise paragraphs.
  • Omit unnecessary details. Stay on topic. There's no need to mention your graphic-design skills if you're applying for an accounting position. It's a good idea to leave out personal things like your IQ, recreational accomplishments, interests, and hobbies. That is unless they relate to the job or company.
  • Avoid sounding arrogant. Ensure your cover letter does not make you appear arrogant . While the cover letter is about you and your accomplishments, find a way of saying "I'm the best" without actually saying it. Avoid overusing words like "I," "me," or "my."
  • Remember that spelling counts. Typos and grammatical errors can show you didn't bother to proofread your own letter. And make sure to be consistent—don't convey a dash with "--" in one place and "—" in another.
  • Design matters : with the proliferation of publishing, design trends, and software, candidates have become creative in making their cover letter stand out from a design perspective. Make sure your cover letter projects your personality in terms of design while remaining professional. That is personal signature and branding.

How Long Should a Cover Letter Be?

According to Indeed , a leading job-seeking site, a typical cover letter should be about three or four paragraphs long and highlight any special experience or achievements that make the applicant exceptionally well-suited to the position.

How Do You Start a Cover Letter?

A cover letter should start with a formal greeting, preferably addressed to the hiring manager. If you do not know who will be reading your cover letter, a generic "to whom it may concern" is an acceptable, albeit old-fashioned, way to address a cover letter. It is also acceptable to address the letter to a title, such as "Dear Hiring Manager," or "Dear Talent Acquisition Team."

What Should a Cover Letter Contain?

An effective cover letter should highlight the applicant's skills, experience, and any achievements that make them a good fit for their prospective employer. It is also a good chance to mention anything that is not included in the resume: For example, if an applicant is drawn to a certain employer because they love a certain product, the cover letter is a great place to mention it. Make sure your cover letter also includes your name and contact information.

In a competitive jobs market, an effective cover letter is one way to make a job application stand out. This is a chance for an applicant to demonstrate why they think they would be a good fit. However, a poorly-written or meandering cover letter can hurt an application more than it helps.

Harvard Extension School. " Resources and Cover Letters: An Extension School Resource ," Pages 3 and 5.

Harvard Extension School. " Resources and Cover Letters: An Extension School Resource ," Page 5.

Jobscan. " Cover Letter Formats ."

Indeed. " What Is a Cover Letter? "

Indeed. " How to Address a Cover Letter (With Examples). "

cover letter what does it mean

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How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Examples

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After weeks of heavy job search, you’re almost there!

You’ve perfected your resume. 

You’ve short-listed the coolest jobs you want to apply for.

You’ve even had a friend train you for every single interview question out there.

But then, before you can send your application and call it a day, you remember that the job ad requires a cover letter.

Now you’re stuck wondering how to write a cover letter ...

Don’t panic! We’ve got you covered. Writing a cover letter is a lot simpler than you might think. 

In this guide, we’re going to teach you how to write a cover letter that gets you the job you deserve.

  • What’s a cover letter & why it’s important for your job search
  • How to write a convincing cover letter that gets you the job (step-by-step!)
  • How to perfect your cover letter with the Novoresume free checklist
  • What excellent cover letter examples look like

New to cover letter writing? Give our resumes 101 video a watch before diving into the article!

So, let’s get started with the basics!

What is a Cover Letter? (and Why It’s Important)

A cover letter is a one-page document that you submit as part of your job application (alongside your CV or Resume). 

Its purpose is to introduce you and briefly summarize your professional background. On average, your cover letter should be from 250 to 400 words long .

A good cover letter can spark the HR manager’s interest and get them to read your resume. 

A bad cover letter, on the other hand, might mean that your application is going directly to the paper shredder. So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s essential to know how to write a convincing cover letter.

How does a good cover letter look, you might ask. Well, here’s an example:

how to write cover letter

Keep in mind, though, that a cover letter is a supplement to your resume, not a replacement. Meaning, you don’t just repeat whatever is mentioned in your resume.

If you’re writing a cover letter for the first time, writing all this might seem pretty tough. After all, you’re probably not a professional writer.

The thing is, though, you don’t need to be creative, or even any good at writing. All you have to do is follow a tried-and-tested format:

  • Header - Input contact information
  • Greeting the hiring manager
  • Opening paragraph - Grab the reader’s attention with 2-3 of your top achievements
  • Second paragraph - Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the job
  • Third paragraph - Explain why you’re a good match for the company
  • Formal closing

Or, here’s what this looks like in practice:

structure of a cover letter

How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter (And Get Hired!)

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, we’re going to guide you through the process of writing a cover letter step by step. 

Step #1 - Pick the Right Cover Letter Template

A good cover letter is all about leaving the right first impression.

So, what’s a better way to leave a good impression than a well-formatted, visual template?

cover letter templates

You can simply pick one of our hand-picked cover letter templates , and you’ll be all set in a jiffy!

As a bonus, our AI will even give you suggestions on how to improve your cover letter on the go.

Step #2 - Start the Cover Letter with a Header

As with a resume, it’s important to start your cover letter with a Contact Information section:

contact information on a cover letter

Here, you want to include all essential information, including:

  • Phone Number
  • Name of the hiring manager / their professional title
  • Name of the company you’re applying to

In certain cases, you might also consider adding:

  • Social Media Profiles - Any type of profile that’s relevant to your field. Social Profiles on websites like LinkedIn, GitHub (for developers), Medium (for writers), etc.
  • Personal Website - If you have a personal website that somehow adds value to your application, you can mention it. Let’s say you’re a professional writer. In that case, you’d want to link to your blog.

And here’s what you shouldn’t mention in your header:

  • Your Full Address 
  • Unprofessional Email - Make sure your email is presentable. It’s pretty hard for a hiring manager to take you seriously if your email address is “[email protected].” Whenever applying for jobs, stick to the “[first name] + [last name] @ email provider.com” format.

matching resume and cover letter

Step #3 - Greet the Hiring Manager

Once you’ve properly listed your contact information, you need to start writing the cover letter contents.

The first thing to do here is to address the cover letter to the hiring manager .

That’s right, the hiring manager! Not the overly popular “Dear Sir or Madam.” You want to show your future boss that you did your research and are really passionate about working with their team.

No one wants to hire a job seeker who just spams 20+ companies and hopes to get hired in any of them.

So, how do you find out who’s the hiring manager? There are several ways to do this. 

The simplest option is to look up the head of the relevant department on LinkedIn. Let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Communication Specialist at Novoresume. The hiring manager is probably Head of Communications or Chief Communications Office.

So, you do a quick lookup on LinkedIn:

linkedin search cco

And voila! You have your hiring manager.

Or let’s say you’re applying for the position of a server. In that case, you’d be looking for the “restaurant manager.”

If this doesn’t work, you can also check out the “Team” page on the company website; there’s a good chance you’ll at least find the right person there.

Here are several other greetings you could use:

  • Dear [Department] Hiring Manager
  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • To whom it may concern
  • Dear [Department] Team

Step #4 - Write an Attention-Grabbing Introduction

First impressions matter, especially when it comes to your job search.

Recruiters get hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of applications. Chances are, they’re not going to be reading every single cover letter end-to-end.

So, it’s essential to catch their attention from the very first paragraph .

The #1 problem we see with most cover letter opening paragraphs is that they’re usually extremely generic. Most of them look something like this..

  • Hey, my name is Jonathan and I’d like to work as a Sales Manager at XYZ Inc. I’ve worked as a sales manager at MadeUpCompany Inc. for 5+ years, so I believe that I’d be a good fit for the position.

See the issue here? This opening paragraph doesn’t say pretty much anything except the fact that you’ve worked the job before.

Do you know who else has similar work experience? All the other applicants you’re competing with.

Instead, you want to start off with 2-3 of your top achievements to really grab the reader’s attention. Preferably, the achievements should be as relevant as possible to the position.

So now, let’s make our previous example shine:

My name’s Michael and I’d like to help XYZ Inc. hit and exceed their sales goals as a Sales Manager. I’ve worked with Company X, a fin-tech company, for 3+ years. As a Sales Representative, I generated an average of $30,000+ in sales per month (beating the KPIs by around 40%). I believe that my previous industry experience, as well as excellence in sales, makes me the right candidate for the job.

See the difference between the two examples? If you were the hiring manager, which sales manager would you hire, Jonathan or Michael?

Now that we’ve covered the introduction, let’s talk about the body of your cover letter. This part is split into two paragraphs: the first is for explaining why you’re the perfect person for the job, and the latter is for proving that you’re a good fit for the company.

So, let’s get started...

Step #5 - Explain why you’re the perfect person for the job

This is where you show off your professional skills and convince the HR manager that you’re a better fit for the job than all the other applicants.

But first things first - before you even write anything, you need to learn what the most important requirements for the role are. So, open up the job ad and identify which of the responsibilities are the most critical.

For the sake of the example, let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Facebook Advertiser. You scan the job ad and see that the top requirements are:

  • Experience managing a Facebook ad budget of $10,000+ / month
  • Some skills in advertising on other platforms (Google Search + Twitter)
  • Excellent copywriting skills

Now, in this section, you need to discuss how you fulfill these requirements. So, here’s how that would look for our example:

In my previous role as a Facebook Marketing Expert at XYZ Inc. I handled customer acquisition through ads, managing a monthly Facebook ad budget of $20,000+ . As the sole digital marketer at the company, I managed the ad creation & management process end-to-end. Meaning, I created the ad copy , images, picked the targeting, ran optimization trials, and so on.

Other than Facebook advertising, I’ve also delved into other online PPC channels, including:

  • Google Search

Are you a student applying for your first internship? You probably don’t have a lot of work experience to show off in this section. Learn how to write an internship cover letter here.

Step #6 - Explain why you’re a good fit for the company

Once you’ve written the last paragraph, you might be thinking - I’m a shoo-in for the job! What else do I need to write? I’ll just wrap up the cover letter and hit that sweet SEND button.

Well, no. You’re not quite there yet.

The HR manager doesn’t only look at whether you’ll be good at the job or not. They’re looking for someone that’s also a good fit for the company culture.

After all, employees that don’t fit in are bound to quit, sooner or later. This ends up costing the company a ton of money, up to 50% of the employee’s annual salary . 

Meaning, you also need to convince the HR manager that you’re really passionate about working with them.

How do you do this? Well, as a start, you want to do some research about the company. You want to know things like:

  • What’s the company’s business model?
  • What’s the company product or service? Have you used it?
  • What’s the culture like? Will someone micro-manage your work, or will you have autonomy on how you get things done?

So, get to Googling. Chances are, you’ll find all the information you need either on the company website or somewhere around the web.

Then, you need to figure out what you like about the company and turn that into text.

Let’s say, for example, you’re passionate about their product and you like the culture of innovation / independent work in the organization.

You’d write something like:

I’ve personally used the XYZ Smartphone, and I believe that it’s the most innovative tech I’ve used in years. The features such as Made-Up-Feature #1 and Made-Up-Feature #2 were real game changers for the device. 

I really admire how Company XYZ thrives for excellence for all its product lines, creating market-leading tech. As someone that thrives in a self-driven environment, I truly believe that I and Company XYZ will be a great match.

What you don’t want to do here is be super generic for the sake of having something to write. Most job seekers tend to mess this one up. Let’s take a look at a very common example we tend to see (way too often):

I’d love to work for Company XYZ because of its culture of innovation. I believe that since I’m super creative, I’d be a good fit for the company. The company values of integrity and transparency really vibe with me.

See what’s wrong here? The example doesn’t really say anything about the company. “Culture of Innovation” is something most companies claim to have. 

The same goes for “values of integrity and transparency” - the writer just googled what the values for the organization are, and said that they like them.

Any hiring manager that reads this will see through the fluff.

So, make sure to do a lot of research and come up with good reasons why you're applying.

Step #7 - Wrap up with a call to action

Finally, it’s time to finish up your cover letter and write the conclusion.

In the final paragraph, you want to:

  • Wrap up any points you couldn't in the previous paragraphs. Do you have anything left to say? Any other information that could help the hiring manager make their decision? Mention it here.
  • Thank the hiring manager for their time. It never hurts to be courteous, as long as you don’t come off as too needy.
  • Finish the cover letter with a call to action. The very last sentence in your cover letter should be a call to action. You should ask the hiring manager to take some sort of action.

And now, let’s turn this into a practical example:

So to wrap it all up, thanks for looking into my application. I hope I can help Company X make the most out of their Facebook marketing initiatives. I'd love to further discuss how my previous success at XYZ Inc. can help you achieve your facebook marketing goals.

Step #8 - Use the right formal closing

Once you’re done with the final paragraph, all you have to do is write down a formal “goodbye” and you’re good to go.

Feel free to use one of the most popular conclusions to a cover letter:

  • Best Regards,
  • Kind Regards,

And we’re finally done! Before sending off the cover letter, make sure to proofread it with software like Grammarly, or maybe even get a friend to review it for you.

Does your cover letter heading include all essential information?

  • Professional email
  • Relevant Social Media Profiles

Do you address the right person? I.e. hiring manager in the company / your future direct supervisor

Does your introductory paragraph grab the reader's attention?

  • Did you mention 2-3 of your top achievements?
  • Did you use numbers and facts to back up your experience?

Do you successfully convey that you’re the right pro for the job?

  • Did you identify the core requirements?
  • Did you successfully convey how your experiences help you fit the requirements perfectly?

Do you convince the hiring manager that you’re passionate about the company you’re applying to?

  • Did you identify the top 3 things that you like about the company?
  • Did you avoid generic reasons for explaining your interest in the company?

Did you finalize the conclusion with a call to action?

Did you use the right formal closure for the cover letter?

5+ Cover Letter Examples

Need some inspiration? Read on to learn about some of the best cover letter examples we’ve seen (for different fields).

College Student Cover Letter Example

college or student cover letter example

Middle Management Cover Letter Example

Middle Management Cover Letter

Career Change Cover Letter Example

Career Change Cover Letter

Management Cover Letter Example

Management Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Want to discover more examples AND learn what makes them stand out? Check out our guide to cover letter examples .

Next Steps in Your Job Search - Creating a Killer Resume

Your cover letter is only as good as your resume. If either one is weak, your entire application is for naught. 

After all, a cover letter is just an introduction. Imagine going through all this effort to leave an amazing first impression, but flopping at the end because of a mediocre resume.

...But don’t you worry, we’ve got you covered on that end, too.

If you want to learn more about Resumes & CVs, we have a dedicated FREE guide for that. Check out our complete guide on how to make a resume , as well as how to write a CV - our experts will teach you everything you need to know in order to land your dream job.

Or, if you’re already an expert, just pick one of our resume templates and get started.

resume examples for cover letter

Key Takeaways

Now that we’ve walked you through all the steps of writing a cover letter, let’s summarize everything we’ve learned:

  • A cover letter is a 250 - 400 word document that convinces the hiring manager of your competence
  • A cover letter goes in your job application alongside your resume
  • Your introduction to the cover letter should grab the hiring manager’s attention and keep it all the way until the conclusion
  • There are 2 main topics you need to include in your cover letter: why you’re the perfect candidate for the job & why you’re passionate about working in the company you’re applying to
  • Most of the content of your cover letter should be factual , without any fluff or generalizations

At Novorésumé, we’re committed to helping you get the job you deserve, every step of the way! Follow our blog to stay up to date with the industry-leading advice. Or, check out some of our top guides…

  • How to Write a Motivational Letter
  • How to Write a Resume with No Work Experience
  • Most Common Interview Questions and Answers

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What is a Cover Letter? Definition, Structure, Purpose, Types & Meaning

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What is a cover letter?

What is the purpose of a cover letter in a job application, what to include in a cover letter, cover letter format and layout, should you use a cover letter template or example, what is a cover letter - takeaways.

Asking yourself, “What is a cover letter?”

In this article, we break down for you the basics about cover letters, their purpose, and what to include in yours.

When you’re applying for a job, a cover letter is just as important as your resume in a lot of ways.  You always want to include a cover letter when you’re submitting your resume, to personalize the facts about your work history and to tailor your application to the job.

But if you haven’t written a cover letter before, it can be intimidating to figure out what to include. Don’t worry, this expert guide boils it all down into a quick read that gives you an overview and points you in the right direction to find everything you need to know about them.

In this post, we’re going to cover:

  • What is a Cover Letter?
  • What is the Purpose of a Cover Letter in a Job Application?
  • What to Include in A Cover Letter

We also describe how you can lay out your cover letter to amp its impact, and we’ve even made it dead simple for you by including some perfect cover letter examples for you to check out.

A cover letter is a one-page document that you include with your resume as part of your application for a job. A good cover letter grabs a Hiring Manager’s attention and gets you to the next step of the hiring process.

While every job you apply for will have either a specific application form or will ask for a resume, not every one will ask for a cover letter.  But you should always include one – it’s a game changer.

The upshot is that a resume is a summary of your work and education experience, while your cover letter adds relevant context to that experience for the specific job.

A cover letter is tailored to a specific job you’re applying for, and it highlights what your qualifications are and how they relate to that role and company. You can use it to give examples of how your experiences relate to the role and show how you’re the best person for the job.

Just as its name implies, a cover letter is written in a letter format, including a greeting, three or four body paragraphs, and a closing. Unlike a resume, your cover letter should be written in full sentences, and you want to use the first-person – “I’m writing to you today to…”.

You don’t want to just rhyme off the same things that are in your resume, though.  Use your cover letter to give real life examples of how your experience, skills, or interests make you perfect for the job.

Head to our full article on the differences between a resume and a cover letter to learn more on this.

Put simply, it’s your chance to make a great first impression. It’s a tool you use to grab a hiring manager’s attention long enough that they look over your resume a bit closer and call you in for an interview.

A cover letter may not be something a job posting asks you to include, but don’t think that means you shouldn’t.  A good cover letter is always a good idea, here’s why:

  • You can tell a story in a cover letter that dives deeper into your qualifications,
  • experience, and interests to show why you’re the best candidate for the job.
  • A lot of candidates skip writing a cover letter, so by including one you immediately put yourself ahead of the competition!
  • You can introduce yourself in a more personalized way and tailor your application specifically for the job.
  • You can add a bit of flair or personality that gets a hiring manager to ask you in for an interview
  • It shows that you put effort into your application, which again, puts you ahead of most of the competition.

This is just a snapshot of how a cover letter can help you. We’ve got a great article for you to look over if you want to know more about the purpose of a cover letter .

Should you send a cover letter for a job?

There is no question, yes, you should absolutely include a cover letter with your application.

We’ve done our homework on this and can tell you: a majority of hiring managers need or expect a cover letter, even if it’s not specified in the job posting.

Not only are they expected, but they’re a great tool for you too:

  • Explain the reasons for any work gaps
  • Clarify how the experience you have from other jobs applies
  • Show how you fit their company culture
  • Let them know why you’re changing jobs or fields

So, while a cover letter may not absolutely be necessary, they’re extremely useful, and always something you should take the time to write and include with your application.

Cover letters should usually include some of the same basic elements. We’ve put together a quick list below, but head over to our complete guide on what to include in your cover letter for a full explanation.

  • A header – This is where you’re going to include all the contact info the hiring manager is going to expect to see.  You want to be sure to give them what theyère looking for.
  • Opening statement – You can get right to it here and make sure this is an attention grabber.  Summarize your skills or experience and give them one good reason why it’s important for the job you’re applying to.
  • Body – This paragraph should give some more details about you personally.  Employers often hire someone for who they are, not what they know; this is your time to show them you’d be a great fit on their team.
  • Closing and Call to Action – You want to close your cover letter with a thanks for the time they’ve taken and a professional sign-off.  You should also let them know you’re eager to hear from them, and let them know to contact you to follow up.

Try to end with a great impression. It’s key that you know how to close your cover letter well to hit all the right notes.

A hiring manager takes about 7.4 seconds to look at each resume that comes across their desk, and there may be hundreds of those. A strong cover letter design can grab their attention long enough for them to set you into the callback pile instead of in the recycling bin.

We’ve put together the details on how you can really grab a recruiter’s attention with your cover letter design , but here’s the basics:

  • Font - Always use a standard, easy-to-read font like Times New Roman or Arial. It should be 12pt or slightly bigger.
  • Heading – Always use a professional format of heading, which includes your name and contact info, the date of writing, and the contact info for the person you’re writing to.
  • Spacing – You want to single space the body of your cover letter, but leave spaces between the heading, the greeting, each paragraph, and your sign-off.
  • Length – We know that it’s tempting to try to fit in as much as possible in the cover letter, but this is definitely a case of less is more.  You want the content to be about half a page, so shoot for between 250-400 words.

Keeping your cover letter lean can be hard the first few times you write one. Check out our article on ideal cover letter length to get more tips on how to hit the sweet spot.

If you’re already a pro, maybe you can go it on your own and write a killer cover letter.  But if this is your first cover letter, or you have any doubts, use our Cover Letter Examples to get some great ideas on how to write and format yours – we’ve got a few samples below.

Our examples cover different industries and positions, so you can fine tune the fit of your letter for exactly the job you’re applying to without trying to reinvent the wheel!  Plus, these are cover letters that work to get interviews, so you can be sure you’ve got a great start.

If you want a real head start, we’ve even got a Cover Letter Templates page where you can head to get all the basics covered for you. Head there, input your specifics, and you’ll have a winning cover letter, easy-peasy.

  • A cover letter is a one-pager you include with a job application to dive deeper into exactly why you are the best fit for the job.
  • You always want to include a cover letter, even if it’s not specified in the job posting.
  • Hiring managers get hundreds of resumes, and they fly through them - your cover letter can and should be designed to grab their attention.
  • Personalize your cover letter and tailor it to the specific job you’re sending it in to, this includes relating specific skills, letting your personality shine, and getting the hiring manager’s name.
  • Make sure it’s in perfect shape to get great results.  Use our Cover Letter Checklist to make sure you’ve covered all the bases and haven’t overlooked any little mistakes that could cost you the job.

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How and Why to Write a Great Cover Letter

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A cover letter is a one-page business letter that you submit when applying to a job, along with your resume. As a piece of persuasive writing, your cover letter will aim to convey to the employer why you’re a great candidate for the role.

What is the purpose of a cover letter?

Your cover letter complements your resume by making it easy for the employer to see how your experience and interest connect to the position. Your goal is to convince the employer to interview you.

With your cover letter, you’ll aim to:

  • Highlight your qualifications:  You’ll show how your skills and experience relate to the employer’s needs for a specific position.
  • Showcase your motivation: You’ll demonstrate your enthusiasm for the specific position and the organization.
  • Reflect your voice and written communication skills: You’ll give the employer a sense of your personality and writing style.

When should I write a cover letter?

Not all jobs require cover letters. So, how do you decide whether to submit one?

Submit a Cover Letter when…

  • The posting explicitly requests that you do so
  • You’re applying to an opportunity at a mission-driven organization
  • You think that doing so could provide important information to the employer that they wouldn’t get from your resume

Consider Submitting a Cover Letter when…

  • It’s marked “optional” in an application, and you have the bandwidth to do so
  • You have content that you can easily recycle or repurpose into a tailored cover letter

No Need to Submit a Cover Letter when…

  • A posting specifically tells you not to submit one
  • There’s no way to submit one in an application portal, and doing so would require a serious workaround

If you’re applying to several similar opportunities, creating a draft cover letter in advance, geared toward that type of opportunity, can be a helpful way to save time in your actual application process.

How do I write a cover letter?

Your cover letter should articulate your qualifications and motivation for the position. Read the job description closely and research the organization. As you craft your cover letter, use examples that demonstrate your relevant skills, knowledge, and interests. The cover letter should be concise, clear, and well-organized.

Before Writing

Research the employer.

Learn enough about the organization to articulate why you are a strong fit for that firm. 

  • Review the firm’s website and LinkedIn page.
  • Speak with current or previous employees.
  • Read articles and social media for current news.

Analyze the job description

Look for skills, duties, and qualifications of the job so you can design your letter to match these as much as possible.

Reflect on your experience and motivation

Identify skills and personal qualities you have developed which will be useful in this role. Ask yourself:

  • What attracts you about this role/company/industry?
  • What have you have done in your work experiences, classes, internships, activities, projects, volunteer work, travel, etc., that is similar to the duties required of the job? 

Cover Letter Structure

As a business letter, the cover letter should include:

  • Heading: Include your name and contact information in the same format as your resume
  • Salutation: Address your letter to the specific individual who can hire you, if this is known. If the name is not included in the job description, address the letter to the Hiring Manager or title mentioned in the job description.
  • Body Paragraphs:  Discuss your experiences, interests, and skills to show the employer how you can add value to their team. See the section below for more guidance.
  • Signature Line: Include a closing and your name.

The cover letter should be one page, about three or four paragraphs, and single spaced. Use 10-12 point font and one inch margins. 

When applying online, upload your cover letter as a PDF file, unless another format is specified. When sending your resume and cover letter by email, you may write a short note or paste your cover letter in the body of your email (without the address header) and also attach the PDF file.

Cover Letter Content

Your cover letter should answer who, what, when, where and why you are applying for the opportunity. 

Introduction

State the position for which you are applying. If you have a referral or spoke with someone from the company, you can mention it in the introduction. Provide some basic information about yourself; this can include your class year and what you’re studying at Columbia. Briefly outline why you’re interested in the organization and what you bring in terms of relevant experience and skills. 

Body Paragraphs

These paragraphs will highlight your qualifications and strengths that are most relevant to the organization and position. Use the job posting and your research as clues to determine what the employer is seeking in a candidate. Have your resume beside you and reflect on what you want the employer to know about you. Are there experiences you want to expand upon that demonstrate your understanding of the role and ability to do the job requirements?

Structure the paragraphs based on relevance, not chronology. Lead with your most relevant skill or strongest experience.

Start each body paragraph with a clear topic sentence.  This can highlight a key skill set, a transferable experience, or a core area of knowledge you’ve built through your studies. Walk the reader through a project or experience, integrating the relevant skills you used and qualities you demonstrated. Provide details about your accomplishments and impact. Connect how these experiences have prepared you for this role and why you are motivated to do this job. There is no need to apologize if you feel you lack experience; focus on the accomplishments that you have.

Recap what you would bring to the organization and your interest in the position. Thank the employer for their consideration. Keep your tone positive and enthusiastic. 

Check out our example of how to structure your cover letter content . 

Editing Tips

Use our  Cover Letter Checklist to make sure your format and content is in line with best practices. 

  • Ensure that the content reflects the requirements in the job description
  • Keep the cover letter concise, at one page or less
  • Correct any errors in grammar, sentence structure, and spelling
  • Use the active voice
  • Avoid beginning too many sentences with “I”

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How to write a cover letter.

A cover letter introduces you to an employer and asks them to think about your application. 

It’s a short letter, usually 3 to 5 paragraphs long.

When to include a cover letter

You should always include a cover letter when you apply for a job using a CV. 

You can write it as an email if you’re applying online or print a copy to go with a paper application.

When writing a cover letter, let the employer know you’re keen by showing that you’ve researched the company. Learn more about what they do through:

  • their website
  • recent news articles
  • talking to people you know who work there

Send it to the right person

It's important to try to address your cover letter to someone by name. Check you have the details of the person you need to send it to. 

You'll need their name and preferred title. For example, ‘Dr’, ‘Mr’, ‘Mrs’, ‘Ms’, and their job title. You should also make sure you have the right company name and address, including postcode.

If you do not know their name

If the job advert does not include a name you can check the company website. Try to find details of the head of the department, head of human resources or a recruitment manager.

If you still cannot find a name, you can start your letter with ‘Dear Sir or Madam’.

Introduction

Introduce yourself and explain how you found the advertised job. You can mention the job title, and reference number if there is one. 

If you’re asking about any job openings and not applying to a vacancy, tell them what sort of job you’re looking for. Let the employer see how keen you are to work for them.

Show you're right for the job

Highlight the skills and experience you have that match what the employer is looking for. 

Convince them that you're enthusiastic about working for them. Let them know you share their work values, culture and style.

Give extra information

If you have gaps in your employment history, you could talk about the skills you gained while you were out of work.

If you’ve mentioned on your CV that you have a disability, you might want to talk more about this in your cover letter. Organisations like Disability UK can give you advice on how to do this. You do not have to mention your disability at this stage if you prefer not to.

You can get more help with specialist advice on finding work if you have a disability.

Ending your cover letter

Thank the employer for considering your application. Let them know that they can get more details from your CV, and tell them you're looking forward to hearing from them.

Let them know how they can best contact you. Make sure your contact details are correct on both your cover letter and CV.

Yours sincerely or yours faithfully

If you know the name of the person you’re writing to, you should end the letter with ‘Yours sincerely’.

If you’ve addressed the letter ‘Dear Sir or Madam’, you should end the letter with ‘Yours faithfully’.

Tips for writing a cover letter

When writing your cover letter, remember to:

  • write a new one for every job you apply for and make sure it’s tailored to the company and the specific role
  • use the same font and size as you do for your CV, so it looks consistent
  • make sure the company name and recruiter’s details are correct
  • use the right language and tone: keep it professional and match the keywords used by the employer in their job advert
  • show you’ve done your research into the job and the company
  • highlight your most relevant skills and experience to stand out from other applicants
  • back up any statements you make with facts and use the STAR method
  • double check spelling and grammar before you send it
  • keep a copy of your cover letter as they may ask you about it in an interview

Related content

How to write a CV

Completing application forms

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What does a cover letter really show a prospective employer?

My phone rang.  “Ms. Blackwood?” the person asked. 

“This is she.” 

“Hi!  This is Shelly.  I’ve just read the most incredible cover letter, submitted by you, for our marketing position.  Did you actually write it yourself?”

My mind whirled.  Most beautiful cover letter?  Why was she asking if I wrote it?  Of course I did!  I had spent the last 4 years earning my degree in marketing, spending countless hours writing, rewriting and tweaking individual sentences and picking the perfect words to convey the messages I wanted to portray.

“Yes, I did.”

“Wonderful!  I’d love to have you come in for an interview and talk with us about our job.  And while you’re here, I’d like you to do a writing sample to see if you really can write.”

This was just over 20 years ago, but I remember the phone call.  It was a high compliment on my cover letter and followed by a bit of a blow by asking me to “prove myself”.  The impact of that is a conversation for another day (especially when tools like ChatGPT weren’t around).  For now, let’s focus on the highlight!

There will forever be a hot debate on whether cover letters are needed, important, wanted or warranted.  My answer:  it depends.  There are some positions where I can get behind the idea that they aren’t worth it.  For the vast majority, however, even if a letter isn’t required, I argue that it’s your chance to really show and tell the screener why you’d be the best candidate for the position.

To dig deeper into this answer:  cover letters show initiative.  A well written letter takes some effort, even when writing may be a honed skill already.  There’s some research involved, so you’d need to see what you can learn about the position.  Yes, the job ad and job description are primary sources of that and can allow you to write about your qualities which match criteria; but there’s also a chance for you to explain why you’re so interested in the position.  There may be some additional info you can glean into the open job through the company’s social media; talking to someone you may know who has that position (maybe within that company even); or doing a search on the web for videos of what the job entails.  When you have this understanding, you can better explain why you’re so interested and how it fits your wants as well as your skills. Trust me, the extra effort in writing a cover letter does not go unnoticed by HR and hiring managers.

Cover letters also allow you to get personal, in a professional way.  In your resume, where space is tight, aspects of your skills and experience are very sterile, showing facts and data.  The cover letter is an opportunity to put some context around what you’ve done to get you to this place now.  You’re able to share, through your writing style and the words chosen, a little bit of your personality and the way you approached various occasions. Demonstrate positive qualities about yourself, like leadership or self-motivation, among others.  Elaborate on previous roles, where you have had successes and challenges, and reasons for seeking new challenges.

In a time where many employers are willing to teach skill, and therefore hire for “soft skill,” writing a cover letter shows that you can be effective in communicating.  And we know communication is one of the top soft skills sought after! Regardless of the position you seek, employers value the ability to articulate thoughts and ideas, collectively pull them together in proper flow, and make them easy to understand in writing.

A solid cover letter accompanying your resume becomes a first step in building a relationship with HR and the hiring manager reviewing your submission. When providing context for the data in your resume, reviewers begin to see you as a whole and gain insight into your accomplishments and motivations. Reviewers see how your career goals align with the role to fill, and even more, with the company’s interests. Reading about your experiences and what you choose to highlight about your journey provides character to the information, helping to visualize you as part of the team early on. 

Ready to write? Here are some quick tips on things to include in your letter:

  • Make it personal – this time not about you, but about the reviewer. If you know who the hiring manager is, address the letter specifically to that person, or to the team! It shows that you took that extra little step to know a bit more about the job than what was posted on the job board.
  • Grab attention! Open the letter with a powerful sentence that will have the reader wanting to know more.  Immediately emphasize your best-selling points and the traits which make you the best fit as an example of what can catch their eye quickly.
  • Concise is key. You’ll have a lot you want to say, but keeping things straightforward and brief is important. The letter is intended to put a little bit of color into the information on your resume, but make sure to save some content for your interview!
  • Incorporate proper lingo. Use job specific language, such as key words from the job description. This will be helpful should the company be using an ATS system on the front end of their screening and shows that you understand a bit about the position.
  • Use action verbs where you can. Instead of writing about your responsibility for a task, tell what you did to accomplish it. An example: “I was responsible for the marketing department” could be “I spearheaded a team of three highly creative team members in the marketing department.”
  • Close with a promise. Make sure to tell them you are looking forward to talking with them throughout this process to help them understand how your experience and knowledge can further the company’s goals as a team member.
  • Keep the closing salutation formal, but you can be creative. I personally try to avoid using “sincerely” (although there’s nothing wrong with using it) and choose to use words or phrases like “kindly” or “best regards” before I sign off.
  • Most importantly, don’t forget your contact information!

Whether you love writing or despise it, making the effort to craft a cover letter is a step worth taking, regardless of the position for which you’re applying. It can, really, be the deciding factor between you and another applicant at any point in the hiring process.

Monica Blackwood is CEO of Westsound Workforce, a staffing agency with offices in Gig Harbor and Poulsbo. She writes a regular column for the Kitsap Sun on human resource issues in the workplace.

This article originally appeared on Kitsap Sun: What does a cover letter really show a prospective employer?

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What to Know About Medical Expenses and Your Tax Deductions: The Tax Letter

What you need to know about deducting medical expenses on your tax return.

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Getting the right tax advice and tips is vital in the complex tax world we live in. The Kiplinger Tax Letter helps you stay right on the money with the latest news and forecasts, with insight from our highly experienced team ( Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Tax Letter or subscribe ). You can only get the full array of advice by subscribing to the Tax Letter, but we will regularly feature snippets from it online, and here is one of those samples…

As you’re filling out your 2023 Form 1040 you may ask whether you should itemize on Schedule A or take the standard deduction . Most filers take the standard deduction because it’s higher than their total itemizations. But not all. 

Take people with big medical bills. Itemizers can claim medical expenses not reimbursed by insurance , for themselves, their spouse and dependents. The cost must be incurred primarily to alleviate or prevent a physical or mental disability or illness. But there is a floor. Medical expenses are deductible only to the extent the total exceeds 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). For example, if you itemize, your AGI is $100,000 and your total medical expenses are $9,000, you can deduct only $1,500 of medical expenses on Schedule A ($9,000 - $7,500).

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The list of eligible medical expenses for tax deductions is broader than most people think. It includes:

  • The basics: Such as out-of-pocket payments to doctors, dentists, optometrists and other medical professionals; mental health services; hospital stays; annual physicals; health insurance and Medicare premiums; prescription drugs; insulin; glasses and contact lenses; hearing aids; and dental work, such as braces and root canals.
  • In vitro fertilization: Amounts paid for IVF qualify as medical expenses. 
  • Medical driving: The 2023 standard mileage rate is 22¢ per mile. It's 21¢ per mile in 2024.
  • Treatment for drug use or alcoholism: This cost is considered a medical expense.
  • Health and wellness costs: Among other health and wellness costs that qualify as deductible medicals are smoking cessation programs, nutritional counseling for a doctor-diagnosed disease, weight-loss programs and certain special food to help with the treatment of obesity, hypertension, heart disease or other physical illnesses diagnosed by a physician. 
  • Long-term care costs: If you, your spouse or your dependent requires long-term care you may be able to deduct the unreimbursed costs as medical expenses. Long-term-care expenses include the costs of assisted living, in-home care and nursing home services. The long-term care must be medically necessary for one who is chronically ill. The costs of meals and lodging at an assisted living facility or a nursing home count as medical expenses for people mainly there for medical care. Premiums you pay for a long-term-care policy are deductible medicals, too. But the deduction is capped based on age. The older you are, the greater the write-off. 
  • Certain home improvements to adapt to a disability or illness: For instance, ramps, wide doorways or entrances, railings and wheelchair lifts.
  • The cost of a service dog: Veterinary costs for a service dog to assist the visually impaired and others with physical disabilities are eligible for medical expense deductions. The same is true for the cost of buying and training the dog, plus feeding and grooming. An emotional support animal counts if needed primarily for the owner’s medical care to alleviate a mental disability or illness.
  • COVID-19 personal protective equipment: Masks, hand sanitizers and other supplies bought for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
  • The cost of a legal abortion: The procedure must be performed in a state where abortion is legal. Transportation costs are deductible. Hotel expenses of up to $50 a night can also be deducted if the abortion is provided by a doctor in a licensed hospital or a medical care facility. You can take up to an additional $50 a night for a traveling companion’s lodging.
  • Genetic testing through DNA ancestry registries: If you use a DNA ancestry for genetic health testing, such as 23andMe , the portion of the DNA collection kit's cost that pertains to genetic testing may be treated as a deductible medical expense.  

Among the costs that do not qualify as deductible medical expenses:

  • Most food, weight loss supplements or low-calorie beverages. 
  • Weight-reduction programs or cosmetic surgery procedures to improve your appearance.
  • Gym membership fees. 
  • Teeth whitening and hair transplants.
  • An elevator installed in your home (it adds value to your house).
  • Over-the-counter medications that are bought without a prescription.
  • Amounts paid for marijuana and other substances that aren't legal under federal law. It doesn't matter whether they are legal under state law.
  • Illegal operations or treatments.
  • Amounts paid to or for a gestational surrogate, including costs to identify and retain the surrogate and the person's medical expenses.

For more details on these and other qualifying and nonqualifying medical expenses, see IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses .

This first appeared in The Kiplinger Tax Letter. It helps you navigate the complex world of tax by keeping you up-to-date on new and pending changes in tax laws, providing tips to lower your business and personal taxes, and forecasting what the White House and Congress might do with taxes. Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Tax Letter or subscribe .  

Joy is an experienced CPA and tax attorney with an L.L.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law. After many years working for big law and accounting firms, Joy saw the light and now puts her education, legal experience and in-depth knowledge of federal tax law to use writing for Kiplinger. She writes and edits  The Kiplinger Tax Letter  and contributes federal tax and retirement stories to  kiplinger.com  and  Kiplinger’s Retirement Report . Her articles have been picked up by the  Washington Post  and other media outlets. Joy has also appeared as a tax expert in newspapers, on television and on radio discussing federal tax developments. 

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  3. What Does the Best Cover Letter Look Like in 2022

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COMMENTS

  1. What Is a Cover Letter? (And What To Include in One)

    A cover letter is a short introduction to you that concisely communicates your interest in a job opportunity along with your top skills and relevant experience. It's important to customize your cover letter for each role to demonstrate that you've researched the organization's mission and values. — Genevieve Northup, MBA, SHRM-CP, HCI-SPTD

  2. What is a Cover Letter? Definition & Examples

    A cover letter is a one-page document included in your job application (along with your resume ). The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce you to an employer, and give them additional information about your qualifications, character, and why you're interested in working for them.

  3. What Is a Cover Letter? Definition, Purpose, and Types

    A cover letter is a letter containing three to four paragraphs that a job seeker or an internship applicant shares with their prospective employer when applying for a job. A cover letter is submitted alongside the applicant's résumé and in many ways complements it.

  4. What Is a Cover Letter? Types and How To Write One

    A cover letter is a written document commonly submitted with a job application outlining the applicant's credentials and interest in the open position. Since a cover letter is often one of only...

  5. Glassdoor Guide: How to Write a Cover Letter

    The cover letter is your first introduction to the person who may hire you, and its goal should be to make you as memorable as possible, in a good way. That means writing a unique cover letter for every job you apply to. No templates. No pre-written nonsense.

  6. What Is a Cover Letter for a Job? Purpose & Example

    A cover letter is a document attached to your job application that shows why you're the best candidate. Not everyone expects cover letters, but a significant proportion of employers still do. If you don't include one, you're significantly reducing your chances of finding a job.

  7. What Is a Cover Letter & How to Make It Stand Out [10+ Tips]

    The question is— What is a cover letter in the first place? Don't worry. After reading this guide you'll know exactly what a cover letter is, and you'll never confuse it with a resume or CV. In this guide you'll learn: What the purpose of a cover letter is and what to put on it. The difference between a cover letter and a resume/CV.

  8. How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Examples

    Header - Input contact information. Greeting the hiring manager. Opening paragraph - Grab the reader's attention with 2-3 of your top achievements. Second paragraph - Explain why you're the perfect candidate for the job. Third paragraph - Explain why you're a good match for the company.

  9. How to Write a Standout Cover Letter in 2022

    Step 2: Add your contact info. At the top of your cover letter, you should list out your basic info. You can even copy the same heading from your resume if you'd like. Some contact info you might include (and the order you might include it in) is: Your name. Your pronouns (optional)

  10. How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Pro Tips

    A cover letter is a one-page document that accompanies your resume or CV when you apply for a job. A well-written cover letter can help you stand out from other applicants and demonstrate your enthusiasm and passion for the position.

  11. What is a Cover Letter? Definition, Structure, Purpose, Types & Meaning

    A cover letter is a one-page document that you include with your resume as part of your application for a job. A good cover letter grabs a Hiring Manager's attention and gets you to the next step of the hiring process.

  12. How and Why to Write a Great Cover Letter

    With your cover letter, you'll aim to: Highlight your qualifications: You'll show how your skills and experience relate to the employer's needs for a specific position. Showcase your motivation: You'll demonstrate your enthusiasm for the specific position and the organization. Reflect your voice and written communication skills: You ...

  13. 7 Key Components of an Effective Cover Letter

    A cover letter introduces you to an employer through a personalized explanation of your qualifications and interest in a position. While a resume shares the technical details of your skills and work experience, a cover letter gives insight into your soft skills, attitude and motivations.

  14. What Is a Cover Letter and Why Are They so Important?

    A cover letter, also referred to as a motivation letter, is a formal letter submitted with your CV for each job application. A cover letter serves as an introduction to your prospective employer by succinctly outlining the main reasons you're the perfect candidate for the position.

  15. How to write the perfect cover letter (With examples)

    To start your cover letter, introduce yourself. This means including your full name, your specific interest in the position and the reasons you've chosen to apply. If you got a referral to the job from another party, ensure to mention this in the first paragraph. 2. Mention your skills and qualifications.

  16. What to Include in a Cover Letter (Examples for 2024)

    Here are the 7 things you should include in a cover letter: Cover Letter Header: add your contact information and contact details of the company. Salutation: tailor the cover letter greeting and use the hiring manager's name instead of the cliché " Dear Sir or Madam ".

  17. Cover letters

    When writing your cover letter, remember to: write a new one for every job you apply for and make sure it's tailored to the company and the specific role. use the same font and size as you do for your CV, so it looks consistent. make sure the company name and recruiter's details are correct. use the right language and tone: keep it ...

  18. CV vs Cover Letter: What's the Difference?

    A cover letter is brief while a CV is quite detailed and long. A CV includes detailed information about your work experience and academic background while a cover letter is a condensed document that explains why you're applying for the given job. But let's park that for a minute and break it down. What is a CV? That actually depends where you are.

  19. Application Letter vs. Cover Letter: Definitions and Differences

    While a cover letter contains similar information to an application letter, a cover letter provides brief details about your experience, skills and goals. It talks about a specific job opening that you have an interest in pursuing. Having a solid cover letter may help a hiring manager notice your resume.

  20. What does a cover letter really show a prospective employer?

    Cover letters also allow you to get personal, in a professional way. In your resume, where space is tight, aspects of your skills and experience are very sterile, showing facts and data.

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    U.S. Department of Education Announces Latest Steps to Support Schools and Students with Better FAFSA® The U.S. Department of Education (Department) today announced additional steps to help colleges prepare to process student financial aid forms as efficiently as possible.

  22. Cover Letter Enclosure: What Does it Mean [Examples]

    Cover letter enclosures are just as important in business as they are in your job hunt. Use them to your advantage and show the hiring manager that you're the candidate they're waiting for. When adding your cover letter enclosures, remember to keep these things in mind: Add your enclosure at the end of your cover letter.

  23. FAQ: Is a Cover Letter Necessary? (Plus What Optional Means)

    In general, a cover letter can only help your job application—unless the job posting specifically requests you not submit one, that is. The impact of a well-written, error-free cover letter can potentially mean the difference between landing a job interview or not.

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    The Kiplinger Tax Letter helps you stay right on the money with the latest news and forecasts, with insight from our highly experienced team (Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Tax Letter or ...

  25. Cover Letter Enclosure: Definition, Tips and Examples

    A cover letter is usually a way to entice a potential employer into reading over your resume and giving you an interview. Without including a resume and any other requested materials, you aren't giving a potential employer all the information they need.