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Build a Cover Letter Fit for the Job

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Summary: A good cover letter can make you appear as a great candidate for the job opening even when you don’t meet the qualifications. Learn the basics that go into a great cover letter.

Cover letters are your chance to sell yourself and bring more attention to your resume. In order for them be effective, there are several steps to take first. Starting with the research and format, you can then move through your cover letter in these following steps: style persuasively, start strong, articulate match, and mention the next steps.

Before writing the letter re-read the job description, circling any keywords or phrases that stand out. Use these key parts in your body paragraphs. Look for a personal connection with the company’s training, mission, leadership, industry, or culture. Gather the names of anyone you know from the company such as recruiters, alums, or through networking connections.

Make the salutation of the cover letter as direct as possible. If you need to call and find out the name of who is responsible for reading the applications.

Make the first paragraph a direct response to the job listing. State the job you are applying for, any personal connections to the organization, people you have met from the organization or who referred you to the job, and finish with how the job fits in with your short-term goals as you move to the next paragraph.

In the second paragraph, show the company how you fit. Use any overlaps between your resume and job requirements. Stick with just one or two to keep things simple and clear. If you don’t have any direct experience, discuss skills and knowledge that is transferable.

In the final paragraph, create a synopsis of why you are qualified for the job. Appear enthusiastic in your request for an interview. Also let the person reviewing your application know when and how you will follow up.

Signatures are no longer necessary unless you are sending in the application by postal mail. Include your email and phone number to make contacting you as simple for them as possible.

Read these related articles on cover letter writing to learn more:

13 Tips to Make Your Cover Letter Better

A Cover Letter Doesn’t Need to Be Intimidating

Make Your Cover Letters Relevant and Brief


Build a Cover Letter Fit for the Job by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin