How to Write a Great Cover Letter

For after school jobs like retail, you just need to have your great resume and to fill out an application.

But, for careers, such as journalism, you’ll need to have a cover letter to go along with your resume that describes in more detail your skills and qualifications that show you’re the one for the job you’re applying for.

At the top of the page, you want to copy and paste the header from your resume (with your name in a larger font (about size 22), address, phone number and email), to ensure that it is exactly the same.

Underneath that, on the left hand side of the screen, you want to put the date that you writing the letter.

Next, you would leave a space underneath the date, and then put the employer’s name and their job title on the same line.

Then, you would have the name of the company and its address single-spaced right underneath the person’s name and job title.

The next thing on your letter is the job position for which the letter is regarding, which would be double-spaced underneath the address of the workplace of the person you are contacting.

Two spaces below that, you would have the official beginning of the letter addressed to the name mentioned above, followed by the four paragraphs within the letter two spaces below.

In your first paragraph, you want to start off by indicating the program and school from which you graduated. Then, you want to say that you are interested in the available position, where you heard about the job, and why you interested in the company. Next, you want to mention two or three best attributes or skills you bring to the role.

In your second and third paragraphs, you want to go into more detail and expand on the two or three (or possibly more) top qualifications that you have that would make you the right person for this job.

Some examples of top qualifications that you would mention, would be the education you have completed, the experience that you have already obtained in this specific field, and a description of yourself demonstrating that you are the right kind of worker that this company can count on.

Be sure to use specific words from the job ad and outline that you are perfect for the company’s needs; you are what they’re looking for.

In the last paragraph, you want to thank the person to whom the letter is addressed for taking the time to read your cover letter and looking over your resume.  Express interest in an interview at this point.

You can use “Sincerely” to close the letter,  and then sign your name in pen. It’s the formal way to do a proper cover letter.

When reviewing your work, make sure you have included these points:

▪ Sell your skills, abilities and knowledge

▪ Match ad requirements using your education, skills and experience (specifics sell)

▪ Use action words

▪ Describe your accomplishments instead of writing a list of generic skills
▪ Keep information specific, relevant, focused and concise

And, if you need any further help on your cover letter or resume, remember you can always go to the career resource centre on your school campus and someone there will be able to go over your material with you there.

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