The following are general guidelines only. You must tailor your cover letter to suit your own experiences, and to suit the specific position you are applying for.
Once you find a specific job posting that you want to apply for, you can begin to work on your application cover letter. Following these steps before you begin will help you write the best cover letter possible.
1. Do Your Research Before you begin to write your cover letter, learn everything that you can about the company or organization you are applying to. Check out their website and social media pages, research their top competitors, and read recent industry news articles. Learn the name(s) of the individual(s) who will be in charge of hiring for the position you want, as well as the head(s) of the company. You will not be able to include all of your research in your cover letter, but it will help you decide what you should include. Do you research for every cover letter you write. It may take some time, but you have a much better chance of being granted an interview if you have tailored your cover letter to the individual who will be reading it.
2. Check for Instructions Some employers include instructions in their job postings. They might ask you to include specific information, or answer certain questions, in your cover letter. Check whether the employer has left any specific instructions for you cover letter. If they have, follow them carefully. Formatting Guidelines
There is a standard cover letter format that most Canadian employers will expect you to follow. However, depending on your industry and the specific job posting you are responding to, you may have to change the formatting of your cover letter.
1. Length Your cover letter should be no more than one page in total.
2. Font Your font should be consistent throughout your cover letter, and you should choose a professional looking font. You font size should be big enough that it is easy to read when your cover letter is printed.
3. Spacing Your cover letter should be appropriately spaced. The main body should be single spaced, with sufficient space left between each new paragraph and section.
There are seven sections in a cover letter.
1. Your Information Your name and contact information should be at the top of your cover letter. Include your:
2. Date Below your information, write the date that you are sending your cover letter.
3. Employer Information Below the date, include the contact information of the individual, department, or company you are addressing the cover letter to. If you know the name of the individual, include their:
If you do not know the name of the individual, include:
4. Greeting Use a formal greeting to open your letter. If you know the name of the individual making hiring decisions, address them directly with their prefix and full name. If you don’t know the name of the individual, use a formal, generic greeting like ‘To whom it may concern,’.
5. Main Text: There are three parts to the main text of your cover letter: the introduction, body, and conclusion.
The body of your cover letter should be one or two paragraphs.
6. Signature There are two parts to your cover letter signature: the closing line and your full name.
Carefully review your cover letter to make sure you have not made any mistakes.
1. Proofread Check your cover letter for any spelling or grammar mistakes. If possible, have someone else proofread it for you, or come back to it after a night’s sleep. Be absolutely sure that you have not make any mistakes in:
2. Check Instructions Go over any instructions for your cover letter given by the employer and make sure you have followed them carefully.
3. Date Make sure that you have the correct date on your cover letter. The date should be the day that you send your cover letter to the potential employer.
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