Chapter 2: Revitalize Your Job Search Documents
- Your Contact Information: Similar to your resume, your cover letter should start by indicating your first and last name, current address, phone number, and email address. It is appropriate for this section to match the format of your resume to show consistency in your branding.
- Date of Submission: Indicate the date that you are applying and submitting your application for the position. Write out the date in long form, for example, March 31, 2021.
- Company Name, Department Name, and Address: In this section, include the name of the company and/or department that is listed on the job posting, as well as the company’s full address. If the address is not listed on the posting and there happens to be several different locations, you could reach out to the company directly to find out more information on which location is hiring. If you are still unable to obtain this information, use the Head Office address.
- Greeting: Often times the name of the hiring contact and address will be included on the posting, however if it is not, put in the extra effort to research this information for yourself. Consider looking at the website, LinkedIn, or calling the company directly to obtain the name of the person in charge of hiring for the position. If you are able to obtain this information, personalize your greeting to say, “Dear Mr. or Ms. Last Name.” If by their name, their gender is unknown, you would say, “Dear Mr. or Ms. First and Last Name.” If you are unable to obtain a specific name, “Dear Hiring Manager” is appropriate. As a best practice, the more personalization, the better, therefore, do not use a generic greeting such as “To Whom it May Concern”
- Introduction: In the first paragraph, start with an interesting hook, introduce yourself, state what position and company you are applying to, why you are applying, and where you saw it advertised or how you heard about the position.
- Body of the Letter: In the body of the letter, your goal is to sell yourself by providing a summary of your relevant education, experience, and personal characteristics that match the requirements of the job posting and demonstrate how you will meet the employer’s needs.
- Organization: In this paragraph, you should be convincing the employer that they are the only company that you want to work for. Show the employer that you are a strong fit for the organization’s culture by highlighting what interests you about the mission, vision, values, and/or projects and services. By stating your knowledge of the company and emphasizing your interest, you are setting yourself apart from other candidates who have not strategically communicated this.
- Conclusion: In closing your cover letter, briefly summarize what you will contribute to the company. Additionally, thank the employer for their consideration, provide your contact information and remind them how you can be reached most easily, you can also clarify which times of the day you are most reachable if you have other obligations. Lastly, welcome an opportunity to meet or discuss your qualifications further.
- Signature: Complete your letter by writing “Sincerely” underneath your last paragraph. Skip several spaces and type out your first and last name. There are several applications that can be downloaded on your smart devices that allow you to create an importable image of your handwritten signature, which offers a nice professional look to finish off your letter when submitting your applications online.