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Writing Cover Letters

Cover letters are your personal introduction to prospective employers. Use your cover letter to sell yourself and your qualifications to gain an interview.

A cover letter is a crucial component of a job application package, allowing you to provide a prospective employer with information that’s not part of your resume. Do your research and send your cover letter to a specific person, letting him or her know how you learned of the position, particularly if it was through a mutual connection. Make sure to state the position title or job function area of interest in your letter.

If you are applying for a job with a Military Spouse Employment Partnership company or organization, make sure to identify yourself as a military spouse in your cover letter.

Components of a cover letter

  • Heading and greeting. Include the date and your contact information, and address the letter to a specific person’s name and title.
  • Introduction. State who you are, why you’re writing and how you found out about the position.
  • Body. Sell yourself and explain why you are the perfect match for the position, what you will bring to the company and why you want to work for them.
  • Closing. Address next steps and initiate action.

Quick tips for your cover letter

  • Be specific about the job opening.
  • Use short sentences and keep the letter to one page.
  • Use key words in your letter that match the job description or mirror the company’s branding message.
  • Be passionate and enthusiastic.
  • Give examples of contributions you’ve made in past employment positions.
  • Proofread your letter for grammar, spelling, punctuation and readability.
  • Thank the reader for his or her consideration.
  • Sign your cover letter, if mailed, using blue ink to show that the signature is original.

Use additional resources including Crafting Your Cover Letter to learn more about creating and using cover letters.  You can also visit the Employment Readiness lifecycle stage of MySECO for additional guidance.

If you have questions about cover letters or other aspects of your job search, call 800-342-9647 to speak with a career coach.

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