You can effectively write a cover letter by making it relate to both the job you are applying for and the resume you are submitting. It should generally be limited to one page and be composed of several short paragraphs. Bulleted lists are often incorporated into cover letters to highlight important points of your qualifications for the potential employer.
To add to the professionalism when you write a cover letter, create a letterhead in the same font as your resume. Two popular layouts for personal letterheads are the left-right format and the centered format. If the resume has your contact information in one style, use the other for the letterhead. Left-right formats have your name in bold, capitalized letters flush left and your name, address, phone number and e-mail address flush right, in plain upper and lower case letters. The centered format has all information stacked and centered at the top of the page, with the same lettering as the left-right version.
To properly write a cover letter, the inside address should be as personalized as possible and match the address provided by the employer. Attempt to find out the name of the contact person instead of addressing the letter to a general entity such as human resources manager or personnel manager. If no name is available, a salutation such as “ladies/gentlemen” is generally preferred over “to whom it may concern.”
When you write a cover letter, your opening paragraph should clearly state your intent. Tell your contact how you learned of the position, if applicable, and be as specific as possible. If you are applying cold, meaning that no job was posted and you are offering your skills for future consideration, mention something positive about the company and relate it to your resume submission. An example might be, “I am eager to continue my career in hospital administration and your facility has a reputation for excellence that I feel would be a good fit for my goals.”
The second paragraph should typically include two or three accomplishments, succinctly stated, that either match specifics of the job posting or reflect your expertise. Try to list assets that are not prominently highlighted on your resume to avoid repetition. This section often lends itself to bullet points.
The third and final paragraph should briefly reiterate why you would be an asset to the company and how you could both benefit from the relationship. If you wish to be assertive, state that you will call in the next week to answer any questions they may have or schedule an interview. You may alternately write that you look forward to them contacting you soon to arrange a meeting.
A cover letter should close as professionally as it opens. A simple thanks for the person’s time and consideration and a reiteration of your contact phone numbers is generally preferred. A closing remark of sincerely or best regards is commonly used, followed by your name. A handwritten signature is normally provided on correspondence being conducted by mail.