A cover letter is a letter that briefs your experience, education, and qualifications for a job. It can also explain why you are interested in a job. Depending on the job application description, it will explain if one’s required or not.
But you want to stick out, add the cover letter.
If you provide the information it will help for your name to be more memorable when your resume is being reviewed. It’s a professional courtesy letter and it gives more and sometimes additional information than your resume provides. It doesn’t hurt to give more, as long as the more being given is professional.
What Sections are in a Cover Letter?
It’s a letter. So you’ll have your address, salutation, body, regards, and signature.
In the address section, it’s pretty simple and straight forward. Provide your name, mailing address (should be the same address on your resume), and phone number. The address section is your contact information.
Be polite. Say hi. Well, say it a little more professionally, but be cordial. A great way to start if you know the person’s name to whom the cover letter and resume are being reviewed by is to say “Dear Mr. or Ms.” and name. If you don’t know, which is usually the case, simply state either “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam.” Remember to put a comma after the salutation before progressing to the body.
The body is where all your information is going to be presented nicely, to the point, and professionally. You want to be clear and concise.
A good rule of thumb is 3-4 paragraphs. You don’t want a really long cover letter. Keep it to a max of one page.
In the first paragraph, state the position you are applying for and that you are interested. Also, include details of where you saw the job posting.
In the next paragraph, provide how you qualify. If it’s education only, mention your preparation in education and any certifications that you may have to go along with it. If it’s experience, give your experience that is relevant. This is where you provide your relevant experiences whether that’s work or educational experiences.
In the third paragraph, give a briefing of what makes you a good fit. Being detail or customer service oriented, great at organizing, willing to learn new things and grow with the company and etc.
The last paragraph should be thanking the reader for their time and consideration. It should also indicate looking forward to further discussing qualifications.
This is where you simply end the letter with “Sincerely” and then a comma.
Does this even need to be explained? Yes, maybe you are sending your cover letter and resume through an email or job board. If so, you are not physically signing the letter. You just have you name typed under the regards,
If you are mailing or giving someone a copy of the cover letter, it should be signed and your name typed below the signature.
Now you know what you cover letter consists of, so get out there and write that cover letter! Be sincere, but professional. Be quick and to the point, but in quality, full sentences. It’s a letter, not an email to a friend.
Yes, provide the cover letter. It not only looks professional, but it also gives some indication that you are serious and professional.
Camille is one of the content writers and Mental Health & Lifestyle Editor for Tribe Twenty One. She is a freelance writer and has her Bachelor’s in Marketing and Master’s in Organizational Communications from Southeastern Louisiana University.