1. Contact Information
Include your full name, address (including zip code–for ATS purposes) and phone number with area code. You should make it as easy as possible for the hiring manager to reach you.
It is important to find out the name of the hiring manager and greet them directly. You can usually find the hiring manager’s name by searching the company website, or even calling the company and asking which hiring manager is assigned to this particular position. Once you learn the name, a simple greeting of “John” or “Hello John” is all you need.
Think of the opening as your “hook”. It’s your chance to pull the hiring manager in. How exactly do you write a good hook? Think about what skills set you apart from the other candidates or how your experience would make you invaluable to the company. What can you do that nobody else can?
Don’t go overboard with information in your opening, though. Pick just the one or two things you think are the most relevant and most important to this particular job.
When writing the body of your cover letter, remember the three w’s: why, what and what (Yep, we meant to say “what” twice).
Why are you writing?
What can you offer?
What do you know about the company and the team?
The body of the cover letter is all about selling yourself. Include a couple of examples of relevant and measurable accomplishments. Measurable accomplishments are powerful because they show proof of your abilities.
For example, if you’re applying for a job in sales, you might include, “In Q4 of 2015, I increased sales by 15%”.
Or, if you’re applying for a job in web development, you might say, “Worked on a team of three developers to build out full mobile app”.
Someone in a managerial position could say, “Led a team of 15 to reach a combined $250,000 in sales in one quarter”. Just like when writing a resume, your cover letter should only include the most relevant and positive information about you
The closing of your cover letter is just that, a closing. It should be used to thank the hiring manager for his or her time and to mention any attachments (resume, portfolio, samples). Keep the closing professional, and try not to sound too eager, since eagerness can come off as desperate.
For example, rather than saying something like, “Looking forward to hearing more about the position”, but it’s best to keep it cool with something like, “I look forward to finding out if I’m a match for this position”.
To finish out the closing, do a formal signature. You can use “Sincerely,” “Best,” “Regards,” “Yours,” or any other professional signoff.
Use your first and last name as your signature, and send from a personal email account that does not list your current work signature beneath the email.