Cover Letter Paragraph Guidelines
When writing cover letters, your paragraphs should be concise and focus on your qualifications for the job.
Cover Letter Paragraph Guidelines
A cover letter should include three paragraphs:
- Body/Selling Pitch
The first paragraph explains why you are writing. It is the first impression and a basic explanation of who you are and why you are writing. It is also acceptable to describe how you found the position or why you are interested in the job.
The second paragraph, known as the body of the cover letter, explains why you are qualified for the position. It is the part of the letter where it is most appropriate to highlight your experience, skills, and attributes that make you a perfect candidate for the position. Don’t restate your entire resume; rather focus on the most important factors that make you desirable.
The third paragraph is a brief conclusion thanking the employer for their time and consideration. Be sure to reiterate your interest in the position and describe how you will next follow up.
Be sure to leave a space between each paragraph.
Cover Letter Margin Settings
When writing a cover letter for a job, the margins should be approximately 1" all around. The left and right margin will be set at 1, " and the top and bottom margins should also be set at 1". It gives your cover letter an uncluttered look and provides plenty of white space which helps with readability.
You should align your text to the left; this is how most documents are aligned, so it will make your letter readable.
When You Need More Space for the Letter
If you have more text than fits on a single page, you can tighten up the margins slightly rather than writing a two-page letter. Keep the margins consistent, so your letter is balanced on the page.
For example, if you adjust all the margins to .75" it will give you more lines and space for the letter content.
Another option is to reduce the left and right margin to .75 and leave the top at 1". Try several options to see which looks best.
When You Need Less Space for the Letter
If your letter is short, you can make the margins larger, so the letter looks balanced on the page without too much white space. In that case, try 1.5" for each of the margins.
How to Adjust Page Margin Settings in Microsoft Word
Here's how to adjust the margins in Word:
- Click on Page Layout / Margins / Normal (for 1" margins)
- There are a variety of other selections, or you can set your own margins by clicking on Page Layout / Margins Custom
How to Adjust Page Margin Settings in Google Docs
Here's how to adjust the margins in Google Docs:
- Click on File / Page Set Up
- You can adjust all the margins (left, right, top and bottom) from this window.
How to Write a Cover Letter
How to write a cover letter, including what to include in your cover letter, how to write a cover letter, cover letter format, targeted cover letters, and cover letter samples and examples.
Writing a cover letter isn’t an easy task for many job seekers. There’s a lot of pressure because, sometimes, the cover letter is the only piece the recruiter will read. Therefore, your cover letter must be a piece of writing that describes your achievements and how you will help the company succeed.
Additionally, you want your cover letter to illustrate how you are the best fit for the company and for the reader to believe you have the qualifications they seek. If you want to land an interview with your cover letter, you don’t want to sound vague or wishy-washy. Your cover letter should illustrate why you are the best fit and how you will help the company or organization reach success.
However, when writing the closing paragraph of your cover letter, it’s easy to have a passive voice because you don’t want to appear overconfident. For example, if you say, “I look forward to hearing from you,” that’s great — but that alone doesn’t seal the deal. The closing paragraph of your cover letter must be one of the strongest elements because it is the last impression you leave in the reader’s mind.
Here are five phrases to include in the final paragraph of your cover letter that will help you seal the deal for your next interview:
1. “I am very excited to learn more about this opportunity and share how I will be a great fit for XYZ Corporation.” Strong cover letter closings are enthusiastic and confident. You want the reader to have the impression you are truly passionate about the position and working for their company. This statement will also illustrate your ability to fit into the company culture and how your personality and work ethic is exactly what they’re looking for.
2. “I believe this is a position where my passion for this industry will grow because of the XYZ opportunities you provide for your employees.” It’s always a good idea to explain what you find attractive about working for the company and how you want to bring your passions to the table. By doing this, you can illustrate how much thought you dedicated to applying for the position and how much you care about becoming a part of the company.
3. “If I am offered this position, I will be ready to hit the ground running and help XYZ Company exceed its own expectations for success.” By adding this piece to your conclusion, you will be able to add some flare and excitement to your cover letter. The reader will become intrigued by your enthusiasm to “hit the ground running.” Employers look for candidates who are prepared for the position and are easy to train. Therefore, this phrase will definitely raise some curiosity and the reader will want to discover what you have to offer for their company.
4. “I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how my qualifications will be beneficial to your organization’s success.” Remember, you want to make it clear in your cover letter how the employer will benefit from your experience and qualifications. You want to also express how your goal is to help the organization succeed, not how the position will contribute to your personal success.
5. “I will call you next Tuesday to follow up on my application and arrange for an interview.” The most essential part of your closing is your “call to action” statement. Remember, the purpose of your cover letter is to land an interview. Don’t end your cover letter saying you’ll hope to get in touch. Explain to the reader the exact day and how you will be contacting them. When you state you will be following up with the employer, make sure you do it!
Remember, the closing of your cover letter is the most important element that will help you land your next interview. By crafting a strong, confident, and enthusiastic closing paragraph, you will leave the reader feeling like you could be the best candidate for the position.
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