Career Orientation

What is a cover letter? Here is all you need to know

Nowadays, although not all employers do request a cover letter from applicants, some companies still ask for it as it helps them to gauge an applicant’s skills, experience and background.

In this article, we will be discussing the “Cover Letter” and will as well tell you how to write one that makes a great first impression on potential employers.

What is a cover letter?

Let us start by defining what a cover letter is.

A cover letter is a one-page document that accompanies a job application, usually including a resume or CV. It is meant to introduce the applicant to the employer and highlight their qualifications and interest in the position.

A good cover letter should convey the applicant’s enthusiasm for the job, explain how their skills and experience align with the requirements of the position and provide specific examples of their accomplishments or qualifications that demonstrate their potential as a candidate. It is also an opportunity to show professionalism and attention to detail by addressing the letter to the appropriate person and ensuring it is free of errors and typos.

Overall, a well-written cover letter can help the applicant stand out from other candidates and increase their chances of being invited for an interview.

Can a cover letter play the role of a resume?

A cover letter and a resume serve different purposes, and while a cover letter can provide some information about your qualifications, it cannot completely replace a resume.

A cover letter is typically a one-page document that introduces you to a potential employer and highlights your relevant skills and experience. It is usually submitted along with a resume and serves as a way to personalize your application and explain why you are interested in the position.

A resume, on the other hand, is a detailed summary of your education, work experience, skills, achievements, and other relevant information. It provides a more comprehensive view of your qualifications and is typically the main document used to evaluate your candidacy for a job.

While a cover letter can provide some insight into your qualifications, it is usually not enough to fully evaluate your candidacy for a position. Therefore, it is important to submit a well-written resume along with your cover letter to provide a complete picture of your qualifications and experience to a potential employer.

What to consider before you write a cover letter

Before you start writing a cover letter, there are several things you should consider to ensure that your letter effectively conveys your qualifications and interest in the position. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

  1. The job description: Read the job description carefully and identify the key skills, qualifications, and experience that the employer is looking for. Use this information to tailor your cover letter to the specific job and show how your skills and experience align with the requirements of the position.
  2. The company: Research the company and try to understand its values, mission, and culture. Use this information to demonstrate your interest in the company and show how your skills and experience would be a good fit.
  3. Your qualifications: Identify your key qualifications and skills that match the requirements of the job. Highlight these in your cover letter and provide specific examples of how you have demonstrated these skills in your previous roles.
  4. Your achievements: Think about your past achievements and how they relate to the job you are applying for. Use specific examples to demonstrate your accomplishments and show how you can add value to the company.
  5. Your tone: Consider the tone and style of your cover letter. Use a professional and formal tone, but also try to convey your personality and enthusiasm for the job.
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By considering these factors, you can create a targeted and effective cover letter that showcases your qualifications and interest in the position.

Format of a cover letter

The format of a cover letter typically includes the following sections:

  1. Header: Include your name, address, phone number, and email address at the top of the page. Also, include the date you are writing the letter and the recipient’s contact information, including their name, title, company, and address.
  2. Salutation: Address the recipient by name, if possible. If you don’t know the name of the person, use a general salutation such as “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Human Resources Manager.”
  3. Introduction: Start your letter with a strong opening statement that grabs the reader’s attention and introduces yourself and the position you are applying for. Mention where you saw the job posting and briefly state your interest in the position.
  4. Body: This is the main section of your cover letter where you should provide details about your qualifications, skills, and experience that make you a good fit for the job. Use specific examples and provide details on how you can contribute to the company’s goals and objectives. Make sure to address the key requirements and qualifications listed in the job description.
  5. Closing: In the closing section of your cover letter, summarize your qualifications and express your enthusiasm for the position. Also, thank the employer for considering your application and invite them to contact you for further discussion.
  6. Signature: End the letter with a professional closing such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards.” Sign your name and include your typed name and contact information.

Overall, it’s important to keep your cover letter concise and focused, typically no longer than one page. Use clear and professional language, avoid any typos or grammatical errors, and customize the letter to the specific job you are applying for.

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How to write a cover letter

Writing a cover letter can seem like a daunting task, but it’s a great opportunity to showcase your skills and enthusiasm for the job you’re applying for. Here are some tips on how to write a cover letter:

  1. Start with a professional greeting: Begin your letter with a professional greeting, such as “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear [Company Name] Recruiting Team.”
  2. Introduce yourself: In the opening paragraph, briefly introduce yourself and explain why you’re interested in the job. You can mention where you found the job posting and what caught your attention about the position.
  3. Highlight your qualifications: Use the body of your letter to highlight your relevant skills and experiences. You should aim to match your qualifications to the requirements listed in the job description.
  4. Show enthusiasm: Let the employer know that you’re excited about the opportunity to work for their company. You can mention specific projects or initiatives that the company is involved in that you find interesting.
  5. Close with a call to action: In the closing paragraph, thank the employer for considering your application and express your interest in an interview. You can also provide your contact information and ask the employer to contact you if they need any additional information.
  6. Proofread and edit: Before you submit your cover letter, be sure to proofread and edit it carefully. Check for typos, grammatical errors, and formatting issues. You can also ask a friend or family member to review your letter and provide feedback.

Remember, your cover letter should be tailored to the specific job you’re applying for and showcase your unique skills and experiences. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to writing a successful cover letter.


Dear [Hiring Manager],

I am excited to submit my application for the [Position] role at [Company]. As a highly motivated and skilled individual with [number of years] years of experience in [relevant field or industry], I am confident that I possess the necessary qualifications and expertise to contribute to your team's success.

In my current role as [current position] at [current company], I have honed my skills in [relevant skill or responsibility]. I have also gained experience in [related skill or responsibility]. I believe that these experiences have equipped me with the necessary skills to thrive in a challenging role such as the one being offered at your esteemed organization.

One of my greatest strengths is my ability to work collaboratively with a diverse group of individuals. I believe that my strong communication skills, coupled with my willingness to learn and adapt, make me an ideal fit for this position. I am also highly organized and detail-oriented, which allows me to complete tasks accurately and efficiently.

I am excited about the opportunity to join your team and contribute to your organization's growth. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my qualifications in further detail.


[Your Name]
Dear [Hiring Manager],

I am excited to apply for the Brand Copywriter position at [Company], as advertised on [Job board or Company's website]. With over [number of years] years of experience in brand copywriting and a passion for storytelling, I am confident in my ability to effectively communicate your brand's message and elevate your brand's voice.

As a seasoned copywriter, I have worked with a range of clients across various industries, including [list relevant industries or clients]. Through these experiences, I have developed a deep understanding of what resonates with different target audiences and how to craft compelling copy that captures their attention and inspires action.

In my current role at [Current Company], I have played a critical role in developing and executing successful brand campaigns that have resulted in increased brand awareness and engagement. I have also worked closely with cross-functional teams to ensure that all brand messaging is consistent across all channels and aligns with the brand's overall vision and values.

Some of my key skills include:

Exceptional storytelling ability
Strong understanding of brand voice and tone
Expertise in creating compelling headlines, taglines, and calls-to-action
Ability to work collaboratively with designers, marketers, and other stakeholders
Proficiency in SEO best practices and content optimization
I am excited about the opportunity to bring my skills and experience to your team and help drive your brand's success. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my qualifications in further detail.


[Your Name]

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