Prepare Cover Letter Content

1. Opening Statement

The opening paragraph will tell the employer several things:

  • Why you are interested in the company and this position
  • What experience and skills you have that would make you a strong candidate
  • Show your personality and enthusiasm
  • A summary of your key qualifications that match the employer's needs

A good first paragraph is critical to a successful cover letter, because employers often decide whether it is worth reading the rest of your material at this stage. Employers respond best to cover letters which show your enthusiasm for the job and their company. They want to see original letters that are tailored specifically to the advertised position and/or company.

While cover letters are difficult to write and many people struggle with the words, you can make it easier on yourself by being yourself.

Demonstrate why you are an excellent candidate for this job. Capture the employer's attention by showing your knowledge about the industry, the company or the advertised job. This is where the research you have done will be very useful. Once you know what is important to the employer, combined with how you could help their company, you will should be confident enough to write a good opening paragraph.

2. Body of Letter

The next two-three paragraphs are where you provide the supporting examples of the skills/experiences you described in the first paragraph. You can illustrate them with examples. These can be some of the same examples included in your resume, though it is always best to have at least one that is different or more detailed. 

Review the Write Accomplishment Based Points section if you need help.

3. Closing Paragraph

The last paragraph is short and businesslike. Many employers state they like to see a link back to the original match statement made in the opening paragraph to reinforce your fit and interest. Your assumption is that they will want to see you, so your language shouldreflect your confidence.

Example: “I am confident that my experience and success in managing customer problems will enable me to work effectively with your clients. I look forward to meeting with you in an interview to further discuss my fit for the position. You can reach me at 905-222-2222. Thank you.”

Need help getting started? In the Centre, our professional staff can help you prepare to write your cover letter. Remember that cover letters are most effective when tailored to a specific job posting so please bring your research when you come for an appointment.

We recommend that you also get your cover letter critiqued. You can book an appointment on CLN.

Review samples of poor vs improved cover letters.

Next step: Format & Editing

Previous step: Prepare Resume Content