How do I Write a Resume Cover Letter? (with pictures)

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Most job applicants will need to submit a resume and cover letter to be considered for a position.
Most job applicants will need to submit a resume and cover letter to be considered for a position.

A resume cover letter highlights skills and experiences that may or may not be present in the resume itself, and it gives the employer a brief description of why you are the best candidate for the job. This document should be brief, well written, and only include relevant information. To begin writing a resume cover letter, read the job description carefully and highlight any information that you believe is most relevant to the job as well as your skills and experience. Use some of these words and phrases in your cover letter to show how you fulfill those needs.

A hiring manager looking over a person's resume.
A hiring manager looking over a person's resume.

Your first paragraph should contain a brief greeting as well as a statement as to why you are interested in the position. You do not necessarily need to cite where you found the job opening unless the employer specifically asks that you do so. The first paragraph is also a good place to mention any references within the company, but be sure to obtain permission from those people before using their names in the letter. Give a one sentence description of why you would be the best candidate for the position, and expound on that reason in your second paragraph. Overall, keep your resume cover letter to two or three paragraphs at most.

Tailor your resume cover letter specifically to the job description by mentioning one or two key skills or experiences that you feel meet the needs of the employer. Give specific examples of successes that would be relevant to the job, and note how your skills and experiences will drive the company forward. Use firm language wherever possible, and avoid using language that makes you sound unsure of your abilities or your strength of character. Say things like, "I will enhance the company's productivity by..." instead of saying things like, "I think I will make a good candidate."

Proofread your cover letter several times to make sure no errors are present. If possible, have a friend or family member read the resume cover letter to check for errors as well, and make sure you have researched proper cover letter formatting before typing up the letter. If you are sending a hard copy, print the letter with quality ink and paper, and leave a space at the bottom for your signature. The signature should be after your closing and before your printed name. Be sure to include the date as well as all of your contact information.

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    • Most job applicants will need to submit a resume and cover letter to be considered for a position.
      Most job applicants will need to submit a resume and cover letter to be considered for a position.
    • A hiring manager looking over a person's resume.
      A hiring manager looking over a person's resume.