How to Write a Cover Letter

  •    Kelly is a freelance SEO consultant based out of Washington D.C. She has worked for Philadelphia marketing agencies and writes for several lifestyle sites.

Once you’ve created your perfect resume, the next step in your job search is writing a cover letter. Some jobs will not require a cover letter submission, so this should be done on a job-by-job basis during your search.

It might sound daunting to write something new for each position, but this guide will show you how to write a cover letter in just a few steps. You'll be writing unique and professional cover letters in no time!


**Quick Cover Letter Tips**
Limit to one page Review job description and include needed skills in your letter ​Include knowledge of organization
​Show your personality without being glib ​Spell-check and proof read
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Organizing Your Cover Letter

Any cover letter you write should follow similar formatting like below:

  1. Opening Paragraph: Address the position and where you found it listed as well as a brief introduction to your current title or position.
  2. Body Paragraphs: Highlight, but don’t paraphrase, some important parts of your resume that are relevant to the position. Include any marketable skills that are clearly listed in the job description. Include how your background will contribute to the position and company overall.
  3. Closing Paragraph: Include any supplemental information (portfolio link or writing sample) and include the best way to reach you.

    Opening Paragraph Tips

Your opening paragraph is a great way to catch an employer’s attention. Start with a relevant anecdote or something unique to pull your readers in, rather than “My name is (blank) and I found this position on (blank).”

Body Paragraph Tips

You can break this 2-3 paragraph section into the following clear organization:

  • 1st Paragraph-Education: How does your educational background (your degree, plan of study) specifically contribute to the job responsibilities or overall company goals?
  • 2nd Paragraph-Work Experience: What positions have you held that have required the same skills or have prepared you for this role? What kind of transferable qualities can you bring to the table, and how can your experience help this position grow beyond the outlined description?
  • 3rd Paragraph: Additional Skills: What skills do you have to set you apart from other candidates? What certifications or proficiencies have you learned that will help the company succeed?

Closing Paragraph Tips

Here you should include a subtle call-to-action as well as any additional requirements from the employer. You can include your availability for an interview or provide the best times to reach you to further action on your application. Some employers also ask for salary requirements and reference information—this can be included here.

It’s always a good idea to thank the employer for their time and consideration in the closing paragraph as well.

Finally, if you’re applying to jobs within an industry, the opening and closing paragraphs should remain somewhat static. But it’s important to review your body paragraphs against each job description to create a cover letter that will answer an employer’s need and improve your chances of getting the job.