Write your cover letter

A great cover letter is like a well-written essay:

  • There is a clear central idea (you are the ideal candidate),
  • Specific evidence to demonstrate this (examples from your previous experiences)
  • A conclusion invites next steps (the opportunity of an interview)

Here is a general structure to follow:

The introduction: make the connection

  • Introduce yourself, demonstrate your knowledge of the organization, and summarize how you will make a difference
  • Focus on how you can contribute to them and to the position, not on what they can do for you
  • WHAT excites you about the position and WHY?

The body: acknowledge your strengths

  • Provide two or three examples from your past work, volunteer positions, or training to demonstrate past success
  • Use specific details to illustrate how your strongest and most relevant skills, experience and qualifications meet the position’s requirements
  • You may have more than one body paragraph — focus each one to a central theme or skill set cluster
  • Use the CARE method:
    • Context of the situation
    • Actions that you took
    • Results of those actions
    • Evaluation, shown by new knowledge or conclusions

The conclusion: end with confidence

  • Restate your interest in a meaningful way
  • Summarize your fit with their needs
  • Enthusiastically request an interview

Other things to consider:

  • Does your tone - word choice, writing style - show your enthusiasm and interest?