How to Format Your Cover Letter for Job Applications

Writing a cover letter with right format is essential for a good job application.

1. Addressee

Make sure you get the basics right, specifically the company address and name of the individual who will be reading your letter. If the name isn’t given in the job advert then do some research or telephone the company to get a name. If all else fails, write Dear hiring manager.

Dear Hiring Manager:

2. Introductions

The first paragraph needs to give the reader the most important information so they can allocate it appropriately. Don’t forget they may be hiring for several different positions at the same time, so clearly indicate which post you are applying for and why you are attracted to that company.

Related: Example Cover Letter Format that Gets you an Interview

I am writing to express my interest in [Name of Position] with [Name of Company]. My enclosed CV illustrates I have all the necessary experience, and my recent position at [Company] allowed me to demonstrate that I can significantly improve an under-performing business and introduce staff initiatives to sustain the growth.

3. Paragraph 2 (The Hook)

This is where you highlight your skills and experience that relates to the job vacancy that you are applying. You should expand upon the information included in your CV and reiterate your successes.
This is also where you can include information that is not in your CV, for example your success outside of work, or if you are changing career. You can use bullet points or highlight particular words using bold text if appropriate.

Throughout my career I have been a valued member of the team, and lead teams of 6-15 people where I had the opportunity to encourage professional development of staff. I am recognised as a problem solver where many new ideas were highly valued and introduced such as [Successes]. The following is a brief sample of the expertise I offer:

  • Conceptualized and implemented an innovative business strategy whereby inventory was maintained at vendor locations, resulting in the effective use of a [System] and annual savings of [Value].
  • Established and maintained internal operating procedures that reduced employee downtime by 15%.
  • Carried out industry and competitive analysis during time with [Company], allowing senior managers to make effective marketing decision based on competition. This resulted in 3 new contacts and [Value].

4. Paragraph 3 (Show you’re keen)

This is where you indicate why you would like to work for this company, and what attracted you to the job advert. Demonstrate that you have done your research and you know the company’s goals and recent successes.

I particularly appreciate the company’s contribution in the [Project]. Having researched into [Company] I see that the overriding goal is to reduce business costs and establish key benchmarks within [Name of Industry]. My recent experience in this industry would be a significant advantage for your company at this time.

Related: 8 Phrases To Avoid When Writing A Cover Letter

5. Paragraph 4 (Finish on a high)

The end of your letter should close on a positive note, perhaps reiterating a particular reason why you are an excellent candidate. It is reasonable to agree that you will contact the recruiter within a set time period to see if they would like to arrange a meeting. If you do this, make sure you follow-up within the time frame you reference. Alternatively indicate days that are more convenient for someone to contact you.

With excellent leadership, time-management, and analytical skills, I would be pleased to further discuss how I can contribute as a valuable member of your senior leadership team. Please feel free to contact me at the number above to arrange a time to speak.


Full Name

Enclosure: CV

photo by: letters home

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