A cover letter is a formal document that is sent with your enclosed or attached resume when you are applying for a job. Many people underestimate the power of an effective cover letter: it provides you with the opportunity to set yourself apart from others. 


Before writing your cover letter, remember it's purpose: to grab the employer’s attention and, ultimately persuade him to review your resume carefully. Therefore, you need to highlight your skills and abilities, demonstrate to the employer how you exceed the standards for the post and how you are different from other applicants. You need to demonstrate your strong interest for the post by doing research on the company and the role, using language that matches the employer’s criteria. Be specific, use examples.


As well as the resume, a cover letter should not be longer than a page. It is not about the length, but how well you express your ideas with clarity. Keep your language simple but formal.




  • Use a size 10-12 font
  • Use standard one-inch margin.
  • Use a basic font: Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, Tahoma.
  • Use black font




The headers of your cover letter can be right, center, or left-aligned, but be consistent with your resume. It must also include all your contact information. Here, I’ll show you two different headers that can be used in cover letter.


Example 1:

Donald Crawford

519 East 400 West, Provo, UT 84606

(801) 579-3456

[email protected]


Example 2

Donald Crawford

519 East 400 West

Provo, UT 84606

(801) 579-3456 | [email protected]


Address and Salutation


After the header, you should include the date and the employer’s contact information, in the order mentioned. Never use “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam”, do your research, find out who is going to be conducting the selection process and address it to him or to her. If you can’t find any information about the name of the employer, try using: “Hiring Manager/Team” or “Human Resources Department/Director”. When addressing a man using “Mr.” and when addressing a woman use “Ms.”, you can only use “Mrs.” If you are sure this woman is married.


Example 1:

January 1, 2018


Ms. Sharon LeBron

Human Resources Manager

Mountain America Credit Union

1540 North 400 East

American Fork, UT, 84503


Dear Ms. LeBron:


First Paragraph


Begin with a strong opening, try to be creative. This is your only chance to make a good impression. You can start by showing why you are passionate about the job you are applying to, or start highlighting something about yourself that makes your outstanding among others. Don’t forget to mention the position you are applying to, and where you found the posting.


Example 1:

Dear Ms. LeBron:


As a General Manager at International Branding XYZ, I manage many administrative operations. I managed and controlled the company’s financial resources, by developing an annual budget, and forecasting our costs.


Example 2:

Dear Ms. LeBron:


When I read your job posting for Marketing Assistant at L’Oréal, I knew I had to send in my application. I, as a female, identify with the L’Oréal Foundation's initiative to help and support women through science, passion, and beauty. Working for L’Oréal and being part of a family that supports women to such an extent would be a privilege for me. My qualifications and my passion make me the ideal candidate for this position.


Second Paragraph


In this paragraph, you must demonstrate why you are qualified for the position, by identifying your skills, education, experience and matching relevant information to this position. Explain how you are prepared for the position, you can refer to current or past employment experience, specific tasks you had in these jobs and specific skills needed for the job.


If you also have academic qualifications, separate them from the work experience into two paragraphs. You may want to do this, so you can give these topics their own focus.



Education: Yale University prepared me for the professional world by cultivating my business acumen and knowledge, which I will leverage at Silver Search Inc. I have learned and applied the principles of business administration in practices held during class; my teachers helped me increase my knowledge and experience in this field. I am a certified business marketing analyst and feel qualified to work with Silver Search Inc.


Experience: In addition to my education, I have worked as a part-time associate manager for the past two years while attending college. I have worked in many positions with different people and demonstrated capability to work with responsibility and integrity. You are welcome to contact my former managers for references. 


Third or Closing Paragraph


In the last paragraph, you need to express your appreciation for the employer’s time to read your cover letter. Let them know you are interested in a meeting with the employer and are available for it. Lastly, add the best way for them to contact you.



Thank you for taking the time to review my resume. I would really appreciate the chance to talk with you about the full-time position at Silver Search Inc. You can contact me with any questions by emailing me at [email protected] or by calling me at (893) 984-9832. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


The enclosed resume will give you detailed information about my qualifications. After you have read and reviewed my resume, I would really appreciate the chance to talk with you about the full-time position with Silver Search Inc. I will call you within the next two weeks to request an interview.




Use a complimentary closing, this is a sign-off phrase that is written prior your signature showing respect and gratitude for the person who is reading your letter. Here are some good ways to close a cover letter.


  • Sincerely,
  • Best Regards,
  • Respectfully,
  • Yours respectfully,
  • With appreciation,
  • With sincere thanks,


Final Tips


  • Use the word “enclosed”, “enclosure” when you are sending your resume by mail. Instead, use the word “attached”, “attachment” when you are sending your resume by email or online applications.
  • Focus on your achievements rather than your responsibilities. Be an ACHIEVER rather than a DOER.
  • Try to illustrate your achievements with examples, but be brief.
  • Don’t use grammar contractions or abbreviations.
  • Use active voice.
  • Be concise, avoid flowery language.
  • Be consistent with resume and cover letter format.
  • Only the headers can be aligned differently. Rest of letter is aligned to the left.
  • There must not be grammar, spelling or punctuation errors.
  • All your cover letter must be personalized,


Remember that your cover letter goes with your resume only when you send your resume online or in an e-mail. When you go to an interview, you don’t bring a cover letter because YOU say all that information out loud.


 Hero image by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash