How to Address a Cover Letter

Before delving deep into how to address a cover letter, let us first explore what a cover letter is, so we can place things in their proper contexts. So, what is a cover letter? Ideally, this is a simple form of communication that you can use to let an employer know that you are interested in working for them. The letter usually serves as a cover for the resume, which is essentially, your brief professional profile. You can use the cover letter under two circumstances:

  • When responding to a job advertisement, whether the advert was placed internally within the organization, or in public places such as a local newspaper or on a website. This is also known as a solicited application.
  • When no job opportunity has been advertised, but you wish to introduce yourself to the employer. This is also referred to as an unsolicited application.

 Essentially, the cover letter should be brief and to the point. In terms of length, it should not exceed a single page. Below are key considerations to make when writing a cover letter:

  1. Express interest in the job for which you are applying. You should do this in ways that build the prospective employer's interest in reading your resume to get a better idea your professional experience, skills and capabilities. If this matches what the employer is looking for, then they will call you over for an interview.
  2. Briefly show how your background and work experience qualify you for the job, then direct the employer to the attached resume or online profile for more information.
  3. Ask for an interview. 

Addressing the Cover Letter

Cover letters are official correspondences and so they should appear neat in their presentation. Indeed, many employers believe that they can tell your character by how you present the cover letter. 

  • The letter should bear a letterhead section containing the sender’s name, address, phone number, email address and a link to your online profile. This header or address section can be center-aligned or to the left. 
  • Beneath the sender's address, and to the left side of the page goes the date, as well as the name and address of the recipient. 
  • When writing the recipient's address, it is usually a great idea to target either the manager in charge of the position of interest or the organization's head of human resource. You could also personalize the letter by giving the recipient’s full name in the salutation e.g., Dear Andrew Smith. In case you are not sure about the recipient's real name or spelling, you may call the company and enquire, or search the details from online platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook. 

What to Put in a Cover Letter

Specific details to include in the cover letter include:

  • Reasons for writing the cover letter and the title of the position that you are interested in. This is usually contained in the reference section that comes below the salutation.
  • A summary of your professional experience and skills that relate to the vacancy in question.
  • An invitation to the manager to read the attached resume.
  • If your professional experience or qualifications do not match those specified by the employer, which might be the case if you're making a career transition, declare this fact right away and explain why how your experience and/or skills make up for any differences between the employer's requirement and what you have to offer.
  • Unless the employer has asked for disclosures such as physical disability, never give details that could be used against you in circumstances where you cannot defend yourself. The best time and place to make such disclosures are at the interview, where you can argue out your case in person.
  • Indicate when you could be available for an interview, as well as how the employer can contact you to arrange the session.

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We will need from you the following, which you will attach on the submission page after you have completed the checkout process:

  1. Your current resume to give us an idea of the skills and experience to highlight in the cover letter.
  2. Job description of the position you wish to apply for. 


 

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