Cover Letters

It's important to keep in mind when writing cover letters that the purpose of a cover letter is to entice the reader to look at your resume. Not to tell your life story or career history!

You want to demonstrate both enthusiasm and professionalism, as well as illustrate that you understand the position and have done your research about the company.  The cover letter must target the employer and include an attention-grabbing first opening sentence.

You cover letter must concisely explain:

  • The reason for your application
  • What skills and experience you have that match what the employer is looking for
  • Why you want to work for this company
  • What you can do for the employer, not on what you want from the experience
  • Your next follow-up steps will be or a thank you for accepting your resume

Cover Letter How-To

Paragraph 1:  WHY

Why are you writing this letter?  State the position title and job posting number you are applying for and how you know of this company or the posting.  Try to include an attention-grabbing statement that grabs the reader’s attention.

Paragraph 2:  WHAT

What do you have to offer this particular employer?  Focus on your most relevant skills and experience, and how they will contribute to the success of the position and the company. Use evidence from past achievements to back up your skills. You want to communicate that you are the perfect fit.

Paragraph 3:  HOW

Demonstrate you have done your research and be specific as to how your skills and experience will contribute to the company's mandate or projects, and how you will fit with their company culture.

Paragraph 4:  THANK YOU

Take a moment to express appreciation that they have read your application and to demonstrate your enthusiasm about the position.  If it is possible for you to follow-up, be explicit how you will you contact them or invite them to reach you out to you.