Use these cover letter tips for writing a cover letter so your job application gets noticed by prospective employers.
What are the parts of a cover letter?
A cover letter is really just a formal business letter that acts as an introduction to your resume. Because it is a formal business document, it should be in block business letter format. In this format, text is left justified (aligned on the left-hand margin).
- Date: This is the date the letter is written. We recommend using the Month Day, Year format, such as January 27, 2009.
- Address: For the address, you should provide your home mailing address followed by the hiring manager's address.
- Greeting: The greeting is an important part of your cover letter. It establishes who you are sending the resume and cover letter to. We recommend that you try to find the name of the hiring manager to use here. If you can't find a name, use a generic term like Staff Selection Team or Hiring Manager.
- Body: The body is the main part of your cover letter. This is where you explain what job you are interested in and how you learned about it. It should also present you as the best possible candidate for the job, and explain what actions you will take next.
- Close: Use a polite and professional phrase here, such as Sincerely, Respectfully, or Kind Regards.
- Signature: This area should contain your name, a written signature (if you're mailing the letter), and another way to contact you (such as a phone number or email address).
- Enclosure line: Use this line whenever you include a separate item in the same envelope or email message. It will tell the recipient to look for the enclosed attachment, which will usually be your resume, but could also be samples of your previous work.
If you're sending a cover letter via email, you don't need to include the date, return address, or mailing address at the top of the page. Just include your own address and other contact information, such as your email or phone number, below your name in the signature area.