How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job Posting

by Mary Jane; Updated September 26, 2017
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A cover letter accompanies a resume in a standard job application and describes everything a resume cannot. A resume will present your education, certificates, list of skills, previous job experience and a brief interests section. A cover letter is meant to show your personality and make a connection between everything outlined in the resume. Have your resume beside you when you write your cover letter so your letter supplements it.

Step 1

Write the date and the name of the company you are applying to. You will need to write a new cover letter to each of the jobs you are applying to, as every cover letter should be tailored to each job. Include the date of application.

Step 2

Address the cover letter to the hiring manager or the person listed on the job listing. Be sure the name is spelled correctly and include a "Mr.," "Ms.," "Mrs.," "Miss," "Dr." or "Professor" if you are sure of the sex or title of the person you are writing.

Step 3

Write your cover letter in your own words, as originality and creativity are more captivating than a standard (or even plagiarized) cover letter.

Step 4

Start the cover letter by stating your reasons for writing the company. Cite the title of the position you are applying to and your reasons for applying. Indicate your interest in the job, but avoid mentioning the salary. If you are simply applying for the job for monetary reasons, the employer will probably choose someone else.

Step 5

Use your education and previous work experience to back up your arguments and reasons for wanting the position. You should emphasize why you feel you are qualified for the position, given your previous work experience and education. Provide examples of this in your cover letter.

Step 6

End the cover letter by suggesting a meeting or interview. For example, write that you look forward to meeting in person to discuss how you can contribute to the company's goals.

Step 7

Sign the cover letter, if you are sending it by postal mail or handing it to someone in person. Use a digital signature, if you have one, if you are sending it via email.

About the Author

Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

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