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How do I Write a Business Cover Letter?

Angela Farrer
Angela Farrer

When writing a business cover letter, you are supplying a concise but informative description of yourself and why you are applying for a job in business. Basic business cover letter guidelines advise beginning with correctly formatted contact information and a succinct opening paragraph. The opening is followed by a body paragraph and a conclusion. The key to writing a good cover letter is awareness of which information is pertinent to include for a specific job in business.

A widely accepted cover letter format places your name and contact information centered at the top of the page, followed by the recipient's name and contact information left-justified on the page. A cover letter should address a specific employer by name. This part of a business cover letter makes the applicant and potential employer easy to identify through a quick scan of the text. The opening of the cover letter consists of a greeting and two to three sentences that briefly explain your interest in a specific open job position.

Business cover letters should be signed by hand in blue or black ink.
Business cover letters should be signed by hand in blue or black ink.

Business writing differs from other writing styles, and an effective business cover letter conforms to this style as much as possible. The body paragraph of your letter needs to directly address your experience, education, and qualifications for the job without using unnecessary words or overly descriptive phrases. Writing in the active voice rather than the passive is also a preferred practice among cover letter guidelines.

One of the most important parts of writing a business cover letter is creating a compelling body paragraph that grabs the hiring manager's attention within seconds. While reviewing stacks of resumes and cover letters, potential employers mentally ask why they should hire each applicant. The information you provide should answer this question with two to three concrete examples of your experience. The most challenging part of this process is usually being able to describe such accomplishments in enough detail while keeping to the guidelines of using active, direct language.

A conclusion leaves your cover letter's last impression. It should include a brief statement concerning your availability for a possible face-to-face interview. The concluding sentences should also thank the hiring manager for his or her time and mention that you can easily be contacted with further questions or reference requests. When writing your conclusion, it is important not to repeat any information already on your resume. If you are printing and mailing your business cover letter, make sure to end it with your signature in blue or black ink.

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    • Business cover letters should be signed by hand in blue or black ink.
      By: Andres Rodriguez
      Business cover letters should be signed by hand in blue or black ink.