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What Should be in a Job Application Cover Letter?

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The job application cover letter is one of the most crucial documents you can compose because it creates the first impression between you and a potential employer. That's why it's so important to take time to craft a cover letter that will make the best possible impression. Most job experts recommend the cover letter be brief - no more than three or four paragraphs.

Opening Paragraph of a Job Application Cover Letter

Many job experts say one of the most critical aspects of a cover letter actually comes in the salutation. It's important to get the name of a person to include in the inside address at the top of the cover letter. The impersonal "Sir" or "Madam", as well as the non-specific, and not to mention "Gentlemen" or "Sirs" is a way to start off very poorly with your cover letter. The first paragraph should sum up the reason for the cover letter. If you can briefly display your knowledge of the company by explaining why you are interested in working there, that is considered a plus. Stay away from information that is unnecessary, such as how you heard about the company, unless it involves a contact whose name may add credibility to your job application.

Paragraph No. 2 of a Job Application Cover Letter

This is the meat of the job application cover letter, as you lay out your qualifications for the positions as succinctly as possible. It is acceptable for the second paragraph to be broken up into two paragraphs. Take some care with your initial sentence as the goal is to make an impact in relating your skills and accomplishments to the job opening. Think of this opening as your statement that generally explains why your specific experience and qualifications match up precisely with the job opening. The bulk of the paragraph following this opening should be specific examples that back up the opening statement and relating your work experience, education and accomplishments to the job opening.

Final Paragraph of a Job Application Cover Letter

The ending of a job application cover letter should be brief - 3 to 4 sentences are sufficient. But there are two issues every job applicant should include. The first is an action statement. Tell the employer the way in which you will follow up to ensure receipt of the cover letter and resume. Job experts stress it is critical not to leave it up to the employer to determine whether there is any additional contact. Remember that whoever is handling the job application process could be inundated with cover letters. The second issue for the final paragraph is to thank the company officials for their time and consideration.

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