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A cover letter is just as important as your resume.  It is an opportunity to personalize your resume and sell your skills. Include these important sections in your cover letter:

  • Heading and greeting
    Include the date, your name and your contact information. Address the letter to a specific name and/or title whenever possible.
  • Opening and introduction
    Explain who you are and your reason for writing, including how you found out about the position.
  • Body
    Sell yourself. Reveal why you are a perfect and unique match for the position. Explain why you have chosen the employer.
  • Assertive closing
    Politely take initiative toward further action and next contact.

Don’t use a generic, form-like cover letter. Use these tips to write a fresh and informative cover letter:

Be confident, positive, and focused

  • Target your letter to the audience and industry.
  • Be positive about your current employment situation and professional future.
  • Emphasize what you can offer the employer.
  • Express your focused career goals.
  • Don’t use empty or unproven claims about your abilities.

Be concise, accurate, and polite

  • Use short sentences.
  • Keep the letter to one page.
  • Proofread your letter thoroughly.
  • Thank the reader for his or her time.
  • Sign your cover letter — blue ink is best to show the letter is an original.

View a cover letter template for layout and format suggestions.

Source: Creative Job Search, a publication of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Career Resource Library.

Department of Labor CareerOneStop is sponsored by the U. S. Department of Labor,
Employment and Training Administration