When it comes to finding a job, your cover letter is your secret weapon for landing an interview. Your cover letter is your chance to show off your written communication skills, your relevant qualifications, and your motivation to work with a particular company.
Here’s the deal:
In order to fully convince an employer to invite you in for an interview, you’re going to have to include all of the requisite information in a clear and efficient manner. That means knowing all of the parts of your cover letter and what they entail.
Sound intimidating? Don’t panic! We here at Zippia care about you and helping you find a job. With that in mind, here’s everything you need to include in each part of your cover letter:
The very first section your cover letter is going to be a header that includes your contact information. You’re going to list your name, your address, your phone number, and your email address. Feel free to include your LinkedIn contact information, or a link to your online portfolio.
123 Rainey St.
Let’s talk about that email address. It’s time to retire your timelessly funny email address of days long since past. Yes, that means no more “firstname.lastname@example.org” or “email@example.com.”
Opt for something more professional on a more modern platform, like FirstName.LastName@gmail.com. Your email address should show that you want to be taken seriously, not that you love to party.
Even though most cover letters are submitted online nowadays, it’s still a general rule of thumb to include the company’s contact information. Google the company to find their local address and list it beneath your own contact information.
135 Los Gatos Road
If you can’t find out the company’s local address, don’t sweat it — but if you can find it, include it just for tradition’s sake.
How you address your cover letter is more important than you might think. Ditch the outdated greetings such as, “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam.” These greetings are impersonal and make you sound like you’re about 100 years old. Plus, it shows that you didn’t even try to look into learning more about the employer.
If you can’t find a specific contact, address the head of the department for the position you’re applying for, or use terms like “Dear Hiring Manager,” or “Dear Human Resources Manager.”
No, this isn’t a Stephen King novel, but that doesn’t mean you should take it any less seriously. The body of your cover letter is the most important part. It tells the employer what job you’re applying for, why they should bring you in for an interview, and how you’re going to follow up.
Here’s everything you need to include in the meatiest part of your cover letter:
First paragraph: This is your cover letter introduction. It’s where you’re going to grab the employer’s attention and make them want to read the rest of your cover letter. Let’s not waste any time in this paragraph — go ahead and tell them which position you’re applying for and how it relates to your background, and show them that you’re excited for the opportunity..
“I am very excited about the opportunity of working with We Do Good Things Industries. Your work with local animal shelters over the past few years has meant a great deal to me, as it is a cause that I care deeply for. I would love the opportunity to work alongside your company and put my professional experience as a fundraising coordinator to good use.”
Second paragraph: This is where you’re going to tell the hiring manager what you have to offer. Use this paragraph to list your qualifications, give examples from your work experience, and quantify any of your achieved results.
Pro Tip: Go into more depth on your relevant qualifications, but make sure not to copy your resume word for word. Use your cover letter to highlight the most important reasons for why you’re the ideal candidate.
Third paragraph: What you know about the company. This is your chance to impress the employers even further by showing them that you care enough to do some background research on the company, and how you can contribute to their mission.
Feel free to mention any current events, information about the company’s history, their core values, or their mission statement.
“I recently read an article in Townsville Daily concerning your company’s humanitarian efforts in regions that have been impacted by environmental disasters. After reading these articles, I was very excited about the opening for a Solar Technician position with your company. As someone who cares deeply about maintaining a clean and healthy environment, I feel that I would be the best candidate for this job.”
The final paragraph is where you’re going to close your cover letter. Summarize what you could bring to the position and request an interview or a phone call.
“I’d like to thank you again for taking the time to review my application and resume, and I welcome the opportunity to discuss my qualifications with you in detail.”
See that? Easy as pie. Check out this article to learn more on how to close your cover letter.
Picking an appropriate and successful sign off is trickier than you might think. A cover letter is a professional document, so you have to be strategic with everything you write.
With that in mind, here are some sign-offs to choose from that hiring managers respond well to:
And here are some sign offs you should avoid at all costs:
You get the idea. Pick an appropriate sign off, sign your name, and then you’ve got yourself a cover letter! Hooray!
Cover letters are one of your most valuable tools when it comes to apply for jobs. They let you go into detail about your qualifications, demonstrate your communication skills, and show that you’re interested in a specific company.
When you write your cover letter, make sure to include your professional contact information, go into detail about your relevant skills, and show that you’re motivated to help the company achieve their goals. Show the hiring manager why you’re the best person for the position, and you’re on your way to getting the job of your dreams!