How to format a cover letter
Much like an essay, a cover letter typically follows a 3-part structure: introduction, body, and conclusion. Depending on the specifics of your application, your letter can be anywhere from a few sentences to a few paragraphs long. Regardless of the final length, be sure to include some version of the following elements.
A cover letter introduction communicates 2 essential details: who you are and why you contacted the reader. It’s good practice to dispel any uncertainty early on and establish context before bringing up further details. If you can make the hiring manager feel like they know you, and more importantly, like you understand their needs, you’ll go a long way in terms of softening the skepticism response and inspiring openness, trust, and curiosity.
The body of a cover letter should explain why you, of all people, are the right candidate for the job. To make a strong case, start by analyzing the job description and identify any potential problems the employer may need to solve. Once you get a sense of what the company is looking for, find specific examples of how you were able to meet those needs in the past and share any experiences that would be particularly useful in the context of the job you’re applying for.
The purpose of a conclusion is to invite the hiring manager to take further action. You can reiterate your desire to work for the company and remind the reader why you are the perfect fit for the position. Depending on the context, you may want to bring up the idea of an interview or invite the hiring manager to follow up with additional questions. Be sure to sign off with an enthusiastic ‘ready when you are’ attitude, and make your contact information readily available after your closing/salutation.
“Your personality determines whether people are attracted to you, or shy away from you. It is the show-wind in which you display your character to the world, and it is the one thing which distinguishes you from all other human beings.” — Napoleon Hill