Look at the purpose of a cover letter this way: you have written your resume to represent WHO YOU ARE and a hiring manager creates a job posting to display the NEEDS OF A COMPANY. A cover letter TIES THE TWO TOGETHER and affords you the opportunity to highlight how you can apply your past experience, skills and abilities to the position for which you’re applying. 


  • Communicate why you want to work for that SPECIFIC company. Hiring managers don’t want to see a generic cover letter that can just be sent to every company within your field.
  • Address your Cover Letter to a person. Don’t have a name? Use LinkedIn to conduct company research and find someone with the title “Hiring Manager.” They’ll notice the effort.
  • Tell a story that’s not on your resume. What brings you to that company and how does it incorporate your passion and what you’d like to do with your life?
  • Focus on the positive and what you can do to address the company’s needs. Make sure you avoid boastfulness, exaggeration, and inconsistency.


  • Follow the format of a standard professional letter.
  • Type the letter and keep it to 1 page.
  • Use the same font and header as your resume.
  • Proofread to avoid typos and look at your sentence openings to ensure they vary and don’t all start with the word “I.”
  • If you’re emailing your documents, incorporate the job title in the email’s subject line.

Want more advice?

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