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Writing Your Cover Letter 101

Writing your Cover Letter 101

Cover Letters are often the most difficult part of the job application process. It can be challenging to know what to include and what not to include. Here are our top tips for writing your cover letter.

Do include

Your name and contact details
Put your name and contact information at the top of your cover letter. The easiest way to do this is by using your resume header, think of this as your personal letterhead. You may not wish to include your full home address, but always include your phone number and a professional e-mail address.

The employer’s name and contact details
Beneath your name and contact information, include the employer too. Do some research to figure out who your supervisor will be or find the name of an HR employee at the company. For their details, include their name, their position and the name of the company. If you can’t find anyone, you can simply put “To Whom It May Concern” as a last resort.

The position you’re applying for
The first line of your cover letter should introduce yourself and the job you’re applying for. You should also add where you found out about the job—such as on a job board, from a friend, or on the company’s website.

A list of your relevant skills and work experience
In a separate paragraph, expand on the skills and work experience that you mentioned in your resume. Cross-reference these skills with the ones provided in the job description or do your best to imagine what skills will be necessary in this position.

Reasons why you’re the best candidate
After elaborating on your skills and experience, explain why your unique skill set makes you stand out from the other applicants.

A solid conclusion
At the end of your cover letter, mention that you’re thankful for the opportunity to apply for this job and tell your potential future employer you look forward to hearing from them. Sign off with “Sincerely, your name” and include a handwritten signature for an extra professional touch.

Hint: we can help you create an image of your signature to insert into your cover letter. Speak with one of our helpful Resource Advisors to learn how.

Don’t include

Any typos or grammatical errors
Your cover letter is the last place you should be making errors. Triple-check your cover letter and get someone else to read it over as well.

Everything that was in your resume
Re-word your resume and expand on any parts that were only bullet points. Make sure it tells half the story and your cover letter tells the other half.

Too much of the word “I”
While you’re checking over your cover letter, highlight every sentence that has the word “I” in it. If your entire cover letter is highlighted, remove the word “I” as much as you can by rewriting sentences.

Attend our free Resumes/Cover Letters workshop

Cover letters may seem scary, but they’re just a way for your potential employer to get to know you better! At WorkBC Vancouver City Centre operated by FSGV, our free Resume and Cover Letters workshop can take the stress out of writing the perfect cover letter. Check out our workshops calendar to find an upcoming workshop.