If you've never written a cover letter before, writing one for the first time can seem challenging. As you begin searching for jobs, however, you'll soon realize that most applications require cover letters. To get started, consider what the purpose of your cover letter is and how you can best use your cover letter to impress your potential employer. The good news is that once you've written your first one, writing more will only get easier!
Brainstorming and Researching
Make a list of what skills the potential employer is looking for and think about what you've done that shows that you've developed those skills. Jot down some ideas about which experiences best demonstrate your ability to perform well in this role. Learn about the organization so that you can articulate why you would fit in there and what you can do to help them further their mission. By thinking about what you want to write before you start writing, you'll be able to write a more meaningful and well-organized cover letter.
Making an Outline
Decide what you're going to write about in each paragraph. In your first paragraph, you should introduce yourself and explain why you’re interested in the position. In the second and third paragraphs, you should explain specifically how your qualifications match the job you are applying for. You're making a pitch to the employer, so be sure to show makes you a great candidate! In the fourth paragraph, thank the employer for considering you.
You can also briefly restate why you would be a good fit for the position. Make sure that your cover letter is under one page in total.
Write and Rewrite
The next step is filling out your outline with complete sentences and formatting your cover letter into paragraphs. Make sure that you write clearly, concisely, and professionally. When you're done, print out your cover letter and read it out loud to a friend or family member. Ask your audience to point out anything that sounds awkward, unclear, or redundant. You should also check for any spelling or grammar mistakes. Once you've revised your first draft, proofread it one more time. You can also ask a teacher or advisor for help if you would like more guidance.
Before you send out your cover letter, make sure that you've addressed your letter to the correct person and that you've included your contact information in the same format as it appears on your resumé. Good luck with your job search!