Elements of a Cover Letter

Elements of a Cover LetterA great cover letter will help you stand out among other candidates.

When writing a cover letter, keep in mind that your letter has three primary components: introduction, body and the closing. Each has a distinct purpose.

Writing Preparation

It can beespecially helpful to make some notes about the skills you’ll want to highlight before even drafting a cover letter. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How relevant are my skills to the job I’m applying for?
  • What aspects of my personality do I want to express?
  • How can I highlight my skills properly?

Jot down all your ideas. Then, you can start to draft your first letter according to the guidelines you have written in your notes. If the work strains you, don’t hesitate to take a rest for a bit and clear your mind. It really can be difficult to write a cover letter, especially if the inspiration just isn’tthere.

You can start with the easier parts of the letter first. Keep the ideas flowing until you get the hang of it. Make as many notes as you need.


This is where you need to get the attention of your reader. If you fail to do so, your application may be trashed sooner than you think.

Don’t create an introduction with grandiose statements.Keep your writing focused and explain why you are writing and how you can meet the needs of the company.

Get to the good stuff as soon as you can.Use the subject line of your email application to state the position you are applying for, and include a brief description of your qualifications in your cover letter’s opening statement.

Wherever possible, avoid beginning your letter with “Please see enclosed resume” — simply because it’s assumed that your resume is attached. Focus on selling yourself well instead.

The Body

Once you get the attention of your reader, this is the section where you can dazzle him or her with what you can offer for the benefit of the company. Focus on your accomplishments, but make sure not to use the same keywords over and over again. Find new ways to reword your skills and introduce new ones that are relevant to the company.


This is where you’ll explain why you’re so interested in the job. Your words need to be convincing enough to help the reader give you an invitation for an interview. State that you are eager to meet and further explain what you can bring to the position. It may sound aggressive, but it is a proactive approach that will help you stand out.

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Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 40,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are just asking for the same key pieces of information. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.