What to Include in a Cover Letter for a Job

The Information to Include in Each Section of a Cover Letter

When you are writing a cover letter, there is specific information that needs to be included. Your cover letter will include a contact section, a salutation, an introduction to the hiring manager, information on why you are qualified for the job, a closing, and your signature. The way the information is listed, and the format, will depend on how you are sending your letter. 

The goal of your cover letter is to make a case for getting selected for a job interview, so it's important to include all required information, along with a compelling argument that you're a strong candidate for the position.

Here's what to include in a cover letter to send with a resume when you apply for a job.

What's in a Cover Letter: Overview of Each Section

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A cover letter is comprised of several parts: contact information, a salutation, the body of the cover letter, and an appropriate closing. Get an overview of each part of a cover letter and how to format a printed document and an email cover letter. More

Take the Time Write a Personalized Cover Letter

It can be time consuming to write a custom cover letter for each job you apply for, but it's important to take the time and effort to show the company why you are a good match. The closer a match to the job description, the higher your chances of getting picked for an interview.

Include information on how you have the requirements the employer is seeking in your letter. Don't simply repeat what's in your resume. Rather, focus on how the skills you have will benefit the company. More

What to List in a Cover Letter Contact Section

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When you are writing a cover letter to mail or to upload to a job board or company website, the first section of your cover letter should include information on how the employer can contact you.

When you send an email cover letter, include your contact information in your signature instead of listing your contact information at the top of the message. More

Choose a Cover Letter Salutation

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It's important to include an appropriate salutation at the beginning of the cover letter or message. If you have a contact person for your letter, be sure to include their name in your letter. Here is a list of letter salutation examples that are appropriate for cover letters and other employment-related correspondence. More

The Body Section of a Cover Letter

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The most important part of a cover letter or an email message applying for employment, is the body of your cover letter. The body of a cover letter includes the paragraphs where you explain why you are interested in and qualified for the job for which you are applying. Be specific and reference the employer's job requirements as listed in the job posting in this part of the letter. More

Include Keywords in Your Letter

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Including keywords related to the jobs for which you are applying in your cover letters can help you get selected for a job interview. Here's information on skills, results, and recognition keywords, with tips for when and how to include them in your job application letters. More

Choose an Appropriate Closing

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When you're writing a cover letter to apply for a job it's important to close your letter in a professional manner.  Browse a list of letter closing examples that are appropriate for cover letters and other employment related correspondence. More

How to Add Your Signature to the Letter

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What is included in a cover letter signature depends on whether you are sending or uploading a cover letter document or using an email message as your cover letter. Here are examples of signatures to use in both cases, as well as information on how to format your signature in a printed document and email letter. More

Review Cover Letter Examples

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Before you start writing, take the time to review cover letter examples, then make sure that your letter explains how your skills relate to the criteria listed in the job posting. These examples will give you a starting point for creating your own interview winning letter. More

What to Include in an Email Cover Letter

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Email cover letters are formatted differently than document cover letters. Here's what to include in an email cover letter, how to format your letter, the best way to include your contact information, and how to send an email cover letter attachment with your resume. More

What Not to Include in a Cover Letter

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Don't go overboard. There is some information that you shouldn't include in a cover letter. Including too much information can hinder your chances of getting an interview. Keep your letter concise and focused, and don't include extraneous details. See what not to include in a cover letter. More

Cover Letter Writing Tips

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Need more help? Review these cover letter tips and techniques for writing top notch cover letters to send with your resume, including cover letter format and presentation, choosing a type of cover letter, writing custom cover letters, and cover letter examples and templates.