person writing

Cover letters are your opportunity to expand on the information in your resume. It should detail exactly how and why you would add value to their organization and illustrate your communication and persuasion skills all at once. It is important to think of your cover letter as a bridge that connects what you bring to what the employer wants. The cover letter below shows how the following tips apply to a real-world example.


Use the same header from your resume on your cover letter with your name and contact information. Address the cover letter with the company’s contact information at the top left-hand corner, and include the position title and number for the employer to clearly see what you are applying for. 

Start your cover letter by addressing someone specifically. Try and find the appropriate contact name for the position. If you are unable to find that information, address the department name or simply write “Dear hiring manager” or “Dear hiring committee.”

Opening paragraph

The opening paragraph should address the question, “Why this company?” Describe how you found the position and what you are applying for. If someone referred you, this is the place to mention their name. Highlight why you are applying for a job with this company and what interests you about the company. End the paragraph with your thesis sentence – the top two or three reasons you’re qualified for the position.

Middle paragraph(s)

Here is your chance to expand on your thesis sentence with concrete examples demonstrating your skills and experience. Highlight your knowledge of the company indicating how your experiences will fit their needs. Address specific qualifications you may have that match the job description. The middle paragraph should answer the question, why you? Be sure to review the job posting to incorporate industry language, action verbs used in the description, and the specific skills and experience the employer is seeking. Make sure your cover letter isn't simply restating what is on your resume. This is your chance to help employers see why/how your experience is valuable to them.

Closing paragraph

This can be a simple paragraph, reiterating your interest in the position and thanking the employer for taking the time to read your cover letter. You should also indicate how or when the employer can contact you.