How to start a sample cover letter

Written by naomi mathews
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How to start a sample cover letter
Your cover letter (woman with a paper image by AGphotographer from

Your cover letter is the first impression that a prospective employer receives of you. Therefore, it is essential that you immediately spark the interest of the person reading your cover letter in the first several sentences. Avoid writing a generic cover letter to accompany your resume. Take the time to think through what the employer needs from you when applying for a position, then emphasise in your cover letter how you can fill those needs.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Job opening advertisement

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  1. 1

    Direct your cover letter specifically to the person who will be reading your cover letter and resume. If you don't know who to direct it to, call the place of business and ask for the name and title of the human resources person. This indicates to the prospective employer that you are sincere and very hopeful of being hired.

  2. 2

    Place the date, your name, address, telephone number(s), and e-mail address where you can be reached at the top of your cover letter for easy reference.

  3. 3

    Greet the person you are writing the letter to with an appropriate salutation. If you know the person's name, use his/her full name rather than Mr. or Mrs. If you don't know her name, you can say "Dear Human Resources Professional."

  4. 4

    Begin the first paragraph of your cover letter by indicating the position you are applying for and why you are the best candidate to fill that position. This is the most critical part of your cover letter, so make it very compelling, but honest. State how your skills and expertise are a perfect match to the job requirements they need as referenced in their advertisement. Stress how you will make a positive contribution to their company in the future without costly in-depth training on their part. Assure them that you have references from previous employers as to your experience and abilities.

Tips and warnings

  • Research the company or business you are interested in applying with.
  • Do a Google search on the Internet to learn how the company is structured.
  • Ask current employees their opinion about working for the company.
  • Ask other businessmen in the community about the company's reputation.
  • Determine the Dunn & Bradstreet rating of the company.

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