Writing a Cover Letter

A cover letter is an essential part of your application. It is an additional opportunity for you to tell an employer why you are the right fit for the job and influence how they look at your resume. Some job seekers miss out on this opportunity by choosing not to send a cover letter or not knowing what to include in the cover letter.

A cover letter is:

  • An opportunity to "sell" yourself
  • A place to differentiate yourself from your competition
  • A chance to explain certain items in your resume, such as relocation or employment gaps


A common mistake job seekers make is using the cover letter as a narrative resume. This is not the place to restate what is in your resume. This is valuable real estate that should focus on what you bring to the table, what you can do for the company, and why they should hire you.

Explain Anything Unusual

Cover letters are a great way to explain anything that is unusual about your job search. If you are relocating, changing careers, have a large gap in your work history, etc., this is the place to explain those details.

You might explain a shift in your career focus:

Or discuss a possible relocation:

Or cover a gap in your work history:

Visual Draws

Use visual draws to get the reader’s attention. Bullet points are great in breaking up block text to make your message stand out.

Pay Attention to Details

Proofread your cover letter before you send it. The two most common mistakes on cover letters are addressing it to the wrong company and having the incorrect position title. Because cover letters are commonly re-used, it is easy to forget to change the name of the company and the position when you’re sending them.

This may seem trivial, but it creates the impression that you have poor attention to detail and are not high on quality. If you didn’t put effort into selling yourself, they can’t expect you to exert care and effort when you’re representing their products and services. So don’t make this mistake.

Your cover letter is an important asset in your job search, and one that is often underutilized. Be sure to make the most of this chance to make an employer take the next step and call you for an interview.

Cover Letter FAQs