What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter gives you an opportunity to enhance your resume by adding a personal touch to your application. It gives you a chance to add more information to what you have included in your resume and to emphasize the knowledge, skills, and experience that you have for the position that you are applying for. Cover letters are also an opportunity to demonstrate the unique qualities that you can bring to their organization and capture attention.

Key Sections to Include in Your Cover Letter

The Header - Similar to your resume, your cover letter should include your name and contact information so the hiring manager knows how to contact you.

Company Contact Details - Make sure that you include the name and address of the company that you are applying to in the upper left hand corner of your letter. 

Subject Line - It’s always a good idea to reference the file number and role that you are applying for. 

Greeting Line - Address your cover letter to the hiring manager. For example, start with “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Ms. XX”. If you can personalize it, that would be best.

Opening Paragraph - This is the introductory section of your cover letter. Start with a brief statement of who you are, the role you are applying for, and why you are the ideal candidate for the position. 

Cover Letter

Mid-Section - The body of your cover letter should focus on your experience and how it complements the role that you are applying for. This is where you want to emphasize relevant skills, competencies, knowledge, and accomplishments, and why you want to work for the company. 

Closing Paragraph - This is your last chance to tell the hiring manager why you are the perfect candidate for the role. Start by expressing your enthusiasm for the opportunity, followed by a sentence on how you can bring value to the organization and finally thank the manager for considering you for the position. 

Sign-Off - Simply end the letter with "Sincerely" followed by your name. 

Cover letter DO's AND Don'ts


Be concise. The ideal length for a cover letter is one page. Write your cover letter in your own words so that it sounds like you and helps you shine. 


Proofread your cover letter to ensure there are no spelling, typing or grammatical errors.


Research the organization and include a few facts, such as the organizations mission or values into your cover letter.


Highlight relevant skills, experience, and accomplishments and how those skills will make you an ideal candidate compared to someone else. 


Avoid including unimportant information. Your cover letter is meant to convince the reader to look at your resume. Make it unique.


Don’t use the same cover letter for every job application. Tailor your cover letter to the qualifications of the specific job posting.


Don’t lie. Be honest about the skills and experience you bring to the position and don’t exaggerate where you might still need to grow.


Don’t copy your resume. Use your cover letter as a way to summarize you and only highlight relevant skills and experience.