Cover Letter
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Style
Recipient Information
Introduction
Body
Conclusion
Closing

Building an Effective Cover Letter

Click on the BACK and NEXT buttons at the bottom of the page to navigate through the series of steps.

A cover letter helps you introduce yourself to potential employers. It can:
  • Provide information that's not in your resumé.
  • Highlight key skills and attributes.
  • Explain why you can do the job.
  • Show your interest in the job and the employer's organization.
  • Highlight how you stand out from other people applying for the job.

Two Styles of Cover Letters

Cover letters can use a bullet or paragraph style. Ensure you chose the style that reflects your skills and your writing style best.

Three Kinds of Cover Letters

There are three common types of cover letters:
  • Response: A response cover letter responds to a job posting. It can highlight your qualifications and how they fit the advertised job requirements.
  • Broadcast: A broadcast cover letter is more general because it is not a response to a specific job ad. Sending a broadcast cover letter can help you to uncover unadvertised jobs.
  • Referral: A referral letter is similar to a broadcast letter because you send it when there is no specific job posting. The difference is that it is a letter that names someone who has referred you to the person you are writing. Of course, it's important that the person referring you is respected by the person you are writing.

Recipient Information


Cover Letter Sending Date

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TIPS

To make your cover letter more personal, try to avoid addressing the letter as "To Whom it may Concern" or "Dear Sir or Madam."

Instead, find out who will be reviewing your cover letter and address it to him or her. If the individual's name is not available, try using one of the following:
  • Hiring Manager
  • Human Resources Manager

Cover Letter Introduction


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INTRODUCTION

View Sample:
Sample A, Sample B, Sample C,
In a recent edition of the Manitoba Business Magazine, I noticed that your organization was rated among the top 100 companies to work for; congratulations on this accomplishment. As a recent graduate from Assiniboine Community College's Systems Technology diploma program, I am looking forward to the opportunity to put my education, and skills developed during my practicum, to use in a top rated organization such as yours. My enclosed resumé will highlight how my skills and qualifications are a match for the Assistant Network Administrator Jr. position advertised on Monster.ca.
My close friend, Mathew Barley, recommended that I apply at your organization. I heard the crew and supervisors at Johnson Suppliers are amazing people to work with and that your company truly values its employees. As a result, I am responding to the position posted on the Job Bank for seasonal construction labourers. Please accept this letter and attached resumé as an application for a position with your company.
I have recently visited your website and find my career goals and aspirations to be an excellent fit with your organization's goals. I am submitting this letter and resumé for consideration for the HR Trainer position as advertised in the Tuesday, December 29, 20XX edition of the Daily Doodle. As a coach, mentor, and founding member of a Toastmasters club I will bring the leadership, initiative, and energy required to excel in the HR Trainer position.


Use the first paragraph as a way to introduce yourself and state your reason for writing. Include information like:
  • the position you're applying for and competition number, if appropriate
  • why you are interested in the position
  • how you heard about the position
  • if the job was advertised, where you saw it
  • who, if anyone referred you - make sure you know the person who referred you is trusted and respected by the employer
  • why you are interested in the company
  • what you know about the company

Cover Letter Body


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BODY

View Sample:
Sample A, Sample B, Sample C, Bulleted Sample A, Bulleted Sample B
During my two month practicum with the Marketing and Communications department at Talk Communications I gained experience providing technical support; sourcing, installing, and maintaining new software; setting up new users in connecting to networks; and monitoring department computers for viruses and malware, including removal of any malicious material. Often sought out by fellow co-workers and students to work on group projects such as a new system roll out, I also excel in managing my own projects. I was among the top five students in courses such as Computer Programming 1 and 2; Customer Support; Networks 1, 2, and 3; Technology Essentials; Emerging Technologies; and Research and Report Writing. I am able to maintain in-house mail and file servers; provide support to computer users; set up and administer backup software, including automatic scripts; set up network security; and maintain user accounts.
My resumé will show that I have a good work history as a skilled general labourer with various certificates and almost two decades of experience behind me. What sets me apart from others is my ability to interact well not only with coworkers and supervisors but also with customers. In my ability to speak both English and Cree, I can easily interact with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
With management, organizational, coordination, communication, and problem-solving skills I developed while serving on committees, coaching, and managing programs I am well prepared to support employees in various training initiatives. I enjoy working with people and have the ability to put them at ease. I am well spoken and calm and able to efficiently juggle multiple tasks.
I am a dedicated and motivated individual and I believe I have the qualifications and experience that you are seeking:
  • 95 WPM typing with no errors
  • Computer skills - skilled in Excel and all Microsoft applications
  • Excellent telephone voice and communication skills
  • Ability to handle stress as a result of excellent organizational and time management skills
  • 15 years as a corporate executive assistant
I am a great fit for this position as I have the skills, education, and experience that you are seeking:
  • 4 1/2 years experience working with plan members and the administration of their insurance benefits
  • Recipient of Client Services award for outstanding client service
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • 3 years experience preparing material and presenting to 50+ groups of people
  • I will be completing my Employee Benefits certification from Humber College April 30, 20XX
  • Extensive experience working in a mainframe environment
  • Educated and experienced in Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Level 11 conversational French


Use this section to highlight your skills and qualifications. Use elements from the job ad, ensuring you cover all its key points. If you have access to the job description, also include skills, duties, responsibilities and relevant personal qualities (ex: ability to work well with others).

Use real examples of accomplishments to tell the reader why your experience qualifies you for the position and how the company would benefit by hiring you. Identify any relevant courses you have completed.

Note: You can split a long paragraph into two by pressing the ENTER key.

Cover Letter Conclusion


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TIPS

View Sample:
Sample A, Sample B, Sample C,
Thank you for taking the time to review my cover letter and resumé. I look forward to an opportunity to meet you at your earliest convenience. I am available for an interview at any time and can best be reached by phone at (204) 555-1116 or by email at jen22@shaw.ca
I have numerous years of experience working in construction and I would welcome the opportunity to be part of your construction team. Please call me at (790) 567-8901 at your convenience to discuss how I can contribute to Johnson Suppliers this season. Thank you for your time and consideration.
I appreciate the time you have taken to review my cover letter and resumé and am available to meet with you to further discuss my skills as they relate to the anticipated position and can be reached at (204) 529 - 8763.


Use the third, or closing, paragraph to finish up the cover letter. Mention:
  • your appreciation for their time and attention
  • your interest in meeting the employer
  • the best way to contact you

Cover Letter Closing


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TIPS

This is your complimentary closing. You may also want to write:
  • Sincerely
  • Best regards
  • Respectfully yours