What Is a Cover Letter for a Job?


Quick Answer

A cover letter is a letter that a job prospect sends to a hiring manager along with a resume and any other application materials. The purpose of the cover letter is to introduce the applicant and to express interest in an open position. Also, the letter details any background and experiences not noted in the candidate's resume.

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Full Answer

Some job postings indicate that a cover letter is required as part of an application for an open position. Even when not requested, it is typically good etiquette to include a cover letter any time a resume is submitted to a hiring manager.

The introduction to a cover letter typically indicates the reason for the candidate's interest in the company and opening. It may also mention how the applicant came across the open position. During the rest of the main body of the letter, the sender normally outlines specific abilities and experiences not clear from the resume. The goal is to convey to the hiring manager how the candidate's relevant background aligns well with the position.

The closing of the letter normally includes a request for follow-up contact to discuss the job opportunity. The standard length for a cover letter is about one complete page.

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