How to write a Cover Letter

December 2016

A cover letter is an integral part of the resume which gives a preview of an applicant applying for a specific job or internship. Thus, attaching a cover letter to a CV increases the applicant's credibility in the eyes of the recruiter. This letter should be drafted like a formal business letter and should clearly state the reason for the application, the skills and benefits that the applicant will bring to the organization and their availability for interview. With the Word application on the Microsoft Office, writing a cover letter is very easy.

What is a Cover Letter?


When applying for a job or an internship you should always join a cover letter to your CV. The cover letter will tell your recruiter why you want to apply for that specific job.

The Layout


The layout should stick to one of a formal business letter, that is, you should write your address and contact details in the upper left corner of the page, just beneath your name. Leave a line and write the name of the recruiter, his function, the name of the organization and its address. On the right hand side of the letter, write the date on which you have drafted the letter with the right format (e.g. 14th January 2008).

You should then start with the title and name of the addressee followed by a comma; Dear Mr Smith, . Avoid including a full stop after the abbreviation of the title. If you don't know the name of the addressee, start with Dear Sir, or Dear Madam,

Don't' forget to leave a blank space before starting to write the body of your letter. You can end it with Yours truly written in the lower left corner of the letter.

The Content


An ideal cover letter should stay precise and not exceed four paragraphs. You should stay simple and include:

1. A justification for your application
2. A highlight of your major skills
3. The proposal of a future meeting with the recruiter

First Paragraph


The first paragraph should state the job that you are applying for and by what means you heard about this vacant position. If you do not know if this particular position is vacant, you should state clearly why you are interested in joining this organization.

Second Paragraph


The second paragraph will highlight your major skills and qualifications. You should say clearly why you are the ideal candidate for that job and match them with the job's requirements. Show that you have sufficient experience in this particular field as well as creativity, independence and enough initiative.

Third Paragraph


The third paragraph should state why you want this job. You should mention the advantages that you will gain from in joining the organization and mention what contributions you can bring to it.

Fourth Paragraph


You should use your fourth paragraph to try to settle an appointment with the recruiter. Show that you can stay available for an interview. Don't be too pushy.

Closing the Letter


Before writing the closing of the letter in the lower left corner of your page, leave a blank line after the last paragraph of your content. You can either end with Yours truly, Yours sincerely (if you know the full name of the recipient) or Yours faithfully (if you do not know the name of the recipient). Do not forget to leave enough space to sign the letter.

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