How do you write a good cover letter?


Quick Answer

To write a good cover letter, include a personal greeting and a compelling introduction, a sales-oriented body that outlines matching qualifications, and a call-to-action close. These elements help sell a candidate for an interview and direct the hiring manager on the follow-up call.

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Full Answer

  1. Greet the reader and write an attention-getting introduction

    Take the time to identify the hiring manager or committee chairperson for the job. If this person isn't names in a posting, contact the company's human resources department and ask who is in charge. Start the letter with a direct greeting, such as, "Dear Mr. Smith." The introduction normally includes a brief sales statement and mention of how the candidate discovered the job.

  2. Sell in the body

    The body of the letter includes several high-value examples of how the applicants background aligns with desired qualities noted in the job description. Don't reiterate experiences depicted on the resume. Instead, highlight the most compelling examples and connect them to the quality desired.

  3. Close with a call to action

    The closing paragraph of a letter typically includes a "thank you" to the hiring manager for reviewing materials. It is also standard to include a contact phone number. A call to action is also important. This appeal alerts the hiring manager to take the letter seriously. Stating, "I'll follow up with you early next week," indicates an intent to follow up and may encourage the manager to give the letter prompt attention.

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