Why and How to Write a Cover Letter

Rationale for Cover Letters

Cover letters should offer a concise description of a given topic. More often than not this is associated with submission of your resume for a specific position. When your role involves consultation or project management, a cover letter introduces a plan’s overview and your role in its success.

Job Application Cover Letter Format

Make your cover letter stand out with clear, active language, and accuracy.

Follow these guidelines:

  • Open with a professional salutation followed by an opening that includes your name and the position for which you are applying. Add a succinct statement of why you are interested in the job.
  • Prepare a solid second paragraph that summarizes the values and skills that make you an outstanding candidate for the position.
    • Use active language, including objective outcomes that highlight your abilities.

Example: Managed a customer satisfaction team which improved consumer feedback 25% over a six-month period.

  • Include select words from the job posting that match your professional attributes/skill set.

Example: Committed to assuring portfolio management that aligns with customers’ financial priorities.

  • Next, state your professional goals and briefly describe how these contribute to the posted position.
  • Close professionally.

Project Proposal Cover Letter Format

A well written proposal cover letter increases the chances of getting your submission reviewed. If you are a consultant or a special projects manager, you know the value of time and need to get right to the point. Hours spent preparing a project proposal deserve a letter that makes yours stand out.

  • Open with a professional greeting followed by your name and the group you represent, if appropriate. Include a brief statement of intent.
  • Write a central paragraph that summarizes you or your group’s rationale for proposal submission. List assets and accomplishments. Use active voice.
  • Concisely list materials included in your submission.
  • End with a strong value statement that conveys your ability to achieve outstanding project performance.
  • Include professional contact information and close professionally.

Cover Letter Last Step

Check all your materials for accuracy. Doing so lets the reader know your ability to manage the details.


For more job seeker tips, check out, Avoid Common Resume Mistakes