Your cover letter is the first communication you will likely have with a potential employer. This is why it’s critical to ensure your cover letter makes a great first impression on your potential employer and makes a compelling case showing why you are a great fit for the position.
How to Fill Out a Professional Cover Letter Template
You need to present professional communication skills in a cover letter, and part of this is organizing all of the information neatly with proper formatting and spacing. The first step is to write your personal communication information at the top aligned to the left. This will include your name, address, telephone number, email address, and then you can skip one line and write the date you send the letter.
Then you skip another line and write the name of the organization to which you are applying and its address underneath. If you know the name of the person who will receive the letter, write this above the name of the organization, along with that person’s title. Skip another line and then write “Re: [name of position you’re applying to]”. After skipping one more line, you should write a salutation, preferably to an actual person if you know who will receive the letter. If you do not know whom to address the letter to, you may use “Dear Hiring Manager:” instead.
Next you will begin the body of your letter. The first paragraph will be relatively short at only two to three sentences. Here, you will immediately state the experience that qualifies you for the position, and then briefly elaborate on how it qualifies you or state why you are enthusiastic about this field. Be sure to mention anyone who works at the organization who may have recommended that you apply. This section must be concise and compelling because you want it to stand out and impress the recruiter.
The next one to two paragraphs are the “heart” of your cover letter. Here, you will go into more detail and the specific experience and skills you have that match the employer’s needs. It is critical here to mention only the skills that are relevant to the employer’s needs. Be as specific as possible and use examples to describe relevant skills to show that you meet the employment qualifications rather than using generic statements.
For the closing paragraph, simply state that you are interested in discussing how you are a great fit for this position in an interview and then reiterate your enthusiasm for pursuing this job. Then thank the reader for his or her time, and skip a line and close with “Best regards,” or “Sincerely,” and then write your name. If this is for a hard copy letter, leave space above your typed name so you can sign it by hand.
Here is a cover letter template to help get you started:
City, State Zip Code
Name of Organization
City, State Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. ________________________________:
First paragraph: [Condense how your experience qualifies you for the position, briefly state why you want to work in this particular position.]
Second (and perhaps third) paragraph: [Go into specific experience that shows you are a great fit for the employer’s needs.]
Third (or fourth) paragraph: [Express interest in discussing the position in person, and thank the reader for his or her consideration.]
Your typed name