As previously mentioned, your cover letter really ought not to be more than one page in length. Thus, you will likely create a letter with approximately three paragraphs. Breaking down the cover letter in parts/paragraphs makes the task not so daunting right?

You will open with an introduction; remember this is your first impression, so make it good. A great way to open is to begin with a question, reference something interesting from the company website or from the job posting, and/or talk about how your values align—anything that will capture the attention of the hiring manager immediately and entice them to continue reading. It is like when you are assessing which book you would like to read next, if your attention is not captured on the first page or two, you are likely going to put the book back on the shelf. Don’t let your resume get put back on the shelf! In your opening paragraph, you may also include the position that you are applying for and state where you learned of the job vacancy too.

In your second paragraph, perhaps you want to discuss how you are qualified for the job. This is where you can make reference to some impressive accomplishments in your resume. Remember, you don’t want to copy and paste content verbatim from your resume; but rather, you want what you say to be an enticement, a hook to have them continue to your resume after reading your cover letter.

Finally, you will write your closing paragraph where you will reinstate your interest in the position and end on an action statement. You always want to leave yourself with the responsibility of following up with the employer later. Do not simply leave the responsibility to connect with the employer; you may never hear back. Ending on an action statement demonstrates leadership, responsibility, enthusiasm, and commitment (when you follow through), which is precisely the first impression you want to leave with the employer.