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.
Sell yourself. Reveal why you are a perfect and unique match for the position. Explain why you have chosen the employer.
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.