How To Write a Cover Letter

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By Alison Doyle,

How to write a cover letter for a job application. Tips on how to write an effective cover letter to apply for a job.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: One Hour

Here’s How:

  1. Take the time to write a targeted cover letter for each employer. This means customizing each cover letter you write, so it specifically relates your skills to the job you are applying for:
    how to write targeted cover letters
  2. State why you are writing, indicating your interest in the job:
    what to include in your cover letter
  3. State where you learned of the position and the title of the position you are applying for. This way the person reading your cover letter will know which job you are interested in.
  4. Explain the reasons for your interest in the organization. Let the cover letter reviewer know why you are interested in the company.
  5. Express your enthusiasm for the job.
  6. Identify your most relevant skills and experiences. Don’t just duplicate your resume. Rather, include the skills that most match the job.
  7. Refer to the qualifications for the position and illustrate how your abilities relate.
  8. Communicate your interest, motivation, and strengths.
  9. Emphasize your achievements.
  10. Indicate how you will follow-up, typically with a phone call or an email. Thank the company for their consideration.
  11. Review sample cover letters: cover letter samples


  1. Avoid cliches and meaningless or wordy expressions.
  2. Your cover letter should complement, not duplicate your resume.
  3. Your cover letter is often the first contact with an employer, make sure it creates a good impression.
  4. Take the time to target your cover letter to the job you are applying for.

What You Need:

  • Word processing software
  • Spell checker and grammar checker
  • Cover letter samples to review