How to Write a Cover Letter in 5 Easy Steps

Before we discuss how to write a cover letter in 5 easy steps, it might be necessary for you to know how to distinguish the difference between a cover letter and a resume. While some information may appear the same in both documents, a cover letter is different from a resume. 

According to, there are three differences between a cover letter and a resume. And it would be an advantage on your side to know them so you can prepare your next cover letter properly.


The 3 differences between a resume and a cover letter.

  • Structure – a cover letter is a full-paragraph structure, while a resume must have sections with bulleted points.
  • Content – a resume is composed of career and educational history, while a cover letter specifically focuses on the job that you are applying for.
  • Reason – a cover letter lets you create a complete view of you as an applicant while a resume covers a wide scope of information in one or two pages.

So the next time you write your cover letter, consider those things mentioned above very carefully.


Is a Cover Letter that Important?

If you would notice, cover letters are sometimes optional. It means that if you send one together with your resume, it only gives the impression that you are eager to get the job you are applying for. Sending a cover letter when it is not required will let the employer know that you are going to be an asset in his organization.

Yes, because it is more than a formality. It is your chance to make a good impression, if not great, to your target employers. We recommend that you accompany your resume with an impressive cover letter.

The first impression lasts. What happens next is up to you. So if you want to have an edge over other applicants, you should provide a compelling and brief cover letter. Highlighting your essential strengths will grab the interviewers’ attention that would probably lead to advancement through your application journey.


How to Write a Cover Letter in 5 Easy Steps

A cover letter must be well-written and follow the standard format. However, what is important is you do your research diligently before creating your cover letter. Below are the five easy steps in writing a killer cover letter.


1. How you should start your cover letter?

Just like a resume, a cover letter is divided into different parts:

  • The header – Includes the contact information of yourself and the employer as well, such as name, address, email address, and contact number.
  • Salutation – There are various views of proper and appropriate salutations. However, starting with Dear and followed by the first name of the hiring manager has been proven to be effective in diverting the attention of the reader. It is no surprise since you will have made an impression that the cover letter has been exclusively addressed for him or her, and not just another copy-paste form of a generic document.

Be reminded that you should do your own research of the company before crafting your cover letter. The very reason is that you should be able to know if it’s kind of casual. And if they are indeed, then it is better to go for the first name salutation.

But if it is more formal and of high degree culture, then it is recommended to go with the last name, such as Dear Mr., Ms., or Mrs., and followed by the last name of the person.

  • Introduction – You should be able to create a super-catchy opening paragraph. The purpose is to get the hiring manager’s attention and arouse his interest and decide whether to continue reading your cover letter or not.

Below are just some great tips on how to create a stunning opening paragraph:

    • Start writing with something that you like about the organization you are applying to.
    • Highlight your accomplishments.
    • Let your employer know that you are aware of what he needs.
    • Show the employer how you could be an asset to the company.

One thing that you must avoid is telling them your thoughts about being a perfect fit for the job.


2. Write a cover letter that is powerful enough to get you noticed.

As mentioned you have to dig deep about the company you are planning to apply for while analyzing the job offer at the same time. Your purpose in doing this is to see where your skills and talent correspond to the job description. Study the requirements carefully and prepare to highlight your abilities that match the requirements. Do it in the following way:

  • List all the requirements that you can see in the job details.
  • Select one or two that perfectly correspond to your own set of skills.
  • Try your best to come up with honest examples where you demonstrate those skills.
  • When composing the main body of your cover letter, be sure that you sell yourself perfectly to the recruiter or the hiring manager.
  • Use remarkable examples to show them that you are indeed a good fit for the position, but not the way you think of how you could be a perfect fit. Let them think about that the other way around.
  • When creating the main body of your cover letter, bear in mind that you should be able to use the same phrases and terms that were used in the job advertisement. The purpose is to give you an edge over other aspiring applicants over the applicant tracking system.

3. Tell your greatest motivation why you apply for the job.

This is the second part of your cover letter. You should be able to demonstrate effectively the very reason why you want to join the team. Just remember once again that this is not how you will gain advantages, but how the company will be benefited from hiring you, and how you can effectively fulfill their needs. Let us take a look at how to do it:

  • Take a second look at the job advertisement. Have you found a solid task or responsibility for a new hire?
  • Once you found out the core project, you should be able to tell the reason why it makes you excited and interested to work with.
  • Show how you will utilize your talent and skill to perfectly execute the task.

The purpose of this is to effectively show the recruiter about your excitement to work with the tasks.


4. The finishing touch of your cover letter.

The Balance Career says that you should end your cover letter with a strong conviction. And since we’ve fully covered the majority of your cover letter, it is the right time to close the deal. But how would you write it up? Simple as it may seem, you should end your cover letter like this: “It would be my pleasure if you’ll allow me to get to know more about this job opening so I can show you how I can help your company grow through organized (skill) effort.”

You can also say that you would like to discuss the employment opportunity with them. Also, never forget to thank the hiring manager for consideration. Always remember that your cover letter should not exceed one page.

A complimentary closing followed with your signature and hand-written, followed by your typed name. If in case you are sending it via email, just put your typed name and contact information after your complimentary closing remark.


5. Proofread then edit your cover letter.

This is the last step, but definitely the most important. Though it may sound awkward or silly to you, you should double-check the correct spelling of the name of the employer and the company.

Please pay attention to your own contact details. Be sure that you provide the correct information including references. There are chances that your hiring manager will contact those individuals in your reference list.

One simple yet effective tip in proofreading your cover letter is to read it aloud. You will find that it is easy to notice typos, such as punctuation marks, missing letters or words, or even sentences that may sound irrelevant.


Final words

As mentioned earlier, the first impression lasts. But that would not be the case if the hiring manager found out spelling mistakes and other grammar lapses on your cover letter. Your job application will be rejected quicker than you think.

Another quick and great tip to proofread your cover letter is to have someone else check it. The purpose is to get feedback from others on how to improve your content.

The above steps are not the most efficient way to perfect your cover letter. In fact, you create a more stunning and compelling cover letter if you will only do the research diligently.

The bottom line here is for you to be able to effectively show your enthusiasm and passion to the organization that will make them feel your value.

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