What Is a Cover Letter? A Vital Document Attached to Resumes

A cover letter is a vital part of your application message. It is the first thing your potential employers will see. If they do not like it, HR managers won’t bother to actually read your resume. So, let’s look at the information below to learn what a cover letter is and how to make it perfect to prevent fatal errors during job search.

What is a cover letter and why to write it?

A cover letter is a message attached to resumes and curriculum vitae (CVs) by job seekers. The main reasons for writing a cover letter are:

  • To introduce yourself.
  • To inform your reader why you are writing (what position you are applying for). Do not make your readers guess your reason for writing.
  • To briefly discuss your main strengths (competencies, skills and experience).
  • To show that you have done your homework (you know the main facts about the industry and company).
  • To invite the employer to read your resume and contact you.

What is a cover letter and when to use it?

As you see, your cover letter is a decisive step in the application process. If your teachers assign you this type of paper, you should be really grateful to them. This knowledge will be valuable for your bright future. Along with receiving good marks for your academic papers, you will need to follow the proper cover letter format on the following occasions:

  1. when seeking a permanent or temporary position;
  2. when requesting a loan;
  3. when sending other types of business documents.

You should tailor your cover letters to each and every occasion. Sorry, no universal templates can be used.

What is a cover letter and how to format it?

The core elements of most cover letters are:

  • Header. It includes the recipient’s name, contact information and date.
  • Introduction. This part should mention the desired position and how you found out about it.
  • Body. It is the main “meat” of your cover letter. It discusses you competencies, skills and experiences.
  • Closing. This part invites the recipient to look through your resume and contact you. Do not forget to say “good-bye”. Use “Best regards”, “Kindest regards”, “Sincerely” to say good-bye in a cover letter.

What is a cover letter? See a clear example

Now, as you have an answer to the question “What is a cover letter”, you might want to see good examples of cover letters. So, here is a pleasant bonus for you:

April 16, 2012

Dr. Smith
72 Spring Street
New York, NY 10014

Dear Dr. Smith:

As a current graduate of Harvard University, I write to apply for a summer internship program at your office.

I have a strong commitment to the mission of providing legal counseling services to low-income population. The inequalities in access to counseling services by different groups of population intensified my desire to assist others in receiving high quality legal counseling services, regardless of their social status and average income. I have demonstrated this commitment when participating in volunteering programs at Harvard, which were immeasurably rewarding for me.

I would highly appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the internship program at your office and learn from the valuable experience of experts working in your organization. Thank you for taking your time to read my letter and I look forward to hearing from you and discussing my qualifications in more detail.

Sincerely,
John White
605-233-5555
ab.cd@harvard.edu

So, now you can easily answer the question “What is a cover letter?” This was all you needed to know for writing excellent cover letters, garnering high marks for them or filling the position of your dreams.

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