Download the PDF version of Cover Letter Builder Guide

The Cover Letter Builder is intended to assist you in drafting a cover letter to complete your job application process.

Purpose

The cover letter completes your professional application and gives the employer an opportunity to know more about you. Cover letters help distinguish you from other candidates and can generate interviews. It introduces you, highlights your fit for the position and provides a writing sample.

It is strongly recommended that you customize each letter for the specific job you are applying to.  A good cover letter responds to the needs of the employer and what you can contribute to the organization. To some hiring managers it is the most important part of the application.

Getting Started

  • Research the organization and the specific job you want. Check out their website, use LinkedIn to look at employee and executive profiles. What are their challenges?  What is the work culture?
  • Don’t be too formal--use a conversational tone, and let them know why you want the job.
  • Briefly highlight experience that meets their needs. What do you bring to the job? Avoid repeating your resume word for word.
  • Enthusiasm sells!
  • Keep it to one page.
  • Format – type font and header should match your resume.

Putting it Together:

1. Header

  • Match the type font and format of your resume.
  • Include contact information.
  • Employer name and location.
  • Job Title, Posting identification.

2. Paragraph 1

Why are you writing?

  • Tell them why you are interested in the position.
  • What makes you unique for the position and what value do you bring? 

3. Paragraph 2

This can be a paragraph, or bulleted examples (preferred) describing how your qualifications match the requirements of the job. Be sure to: 

  • Match your qualifications with the position requirements.
  • Include relevant, specific quantified achievements.
  • Use action verbs and keywords.
  • Respond to both the stated and implied requirements in the posting. What does it take to be successful in the job?

A great way to analyze the job posting and to organize how you match the required qualifications, is to: 

  1. Highlight the items that you want to address.
  2. Create a table with two columns, one for the required qualifications, and one for your matching experience. Excel works great for this.
  3. Add your experience to the cover letter (it is not necessary to repeat the job requirements) in the second paragraph where you want to specify how you match the employer requirements.
  4. Note:  Requirements are usually prioritized, so be sure to address the first 3-4.
Job Requirement Your Matching Experience
  • Ability to successfully lead and influence others to support organizational initiatives.
  • Initiate and lead training in industry best-practices in supervision and customer service.
  • Successfully develop effective leadership teams in management, improving employee satisfaction surveys by 70%.
  • Ability to successfully lead and influence others to support organizational initiatives.
  • Managed on-going continuing education programs for diverse professional staff. Initiated and led training in industry best-practices in supervision and customer service.

4. Paragraph 3

This is your close and where you summarize what you bring to the job and restate your interest.  Always thank the prospective employer for taking the time to review your qualifications.

Next Steps

Use the Cover Letter builder to create your sample cover letter based on a template.

Download the Cover Letter Builder

Use this Cover Letter Builder to create a draft targeted to the position for which you are applying. Please use the job description as a guide for key words and required skills.  What examples do you have in your work history that relate to the skills and experience in the "Required" section of the posting?   How do you match the requirements?