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07 Jan 10 Structure of a Cover Letter

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In the last post, we talked about the importance of a cover letter, and how much it can assist in getting an interview call. In this short article, I will talk about anatomy of a cover letter; about how one should go about crafting a cover letter.

Anatomy of a cover letter

Step 1: length of a cover letter

A cover letter should not be more than one page long, and when I say “page” I mean “A4 size page”. Subdivide your cover letter into 3 paragraphs, and try to keep the cover letter within 350-400 words. The goal of your cover letter is to generate interest in the reader not to chock him to death with your uncontrolled biographical rattling.

Step 2: Name and address

Put name and address of recipient at the top on the left-hand side of the cover letter, and fold the cover letter putting names and address at the top.

Step 3: Use proper salutation

Do not begin your cover letter with “To Whom It May Concern” as it will not concern anyone. Find the name of the person you are sending your résumé, and use his second name (family name) as salutation as in Dear Mr. Jones, or Dear Ms. Lloyd. If you fail to get name of the person who will read your cover letter than you can simply write Dear Sir/Madam.

Step 4: 1st paragraph

Being this paragraph with writing why you want to work with the company followed by giving a brief introduction about yourself and talk about the academic qualification you have in brief (of course, I am assuming here that you fresher looking for your first job). Do not tell the reader everything you know. Say only as much as required to garner interest.

Step 5: 2nd paragraph

The second paragraph of your cover letter should consist of the things you learned while pursuing your highest degree, the degree on the basis of which you are applying for the job. Mention 5 to 7 key concepts that are relevant to the industry. Talk about cutting edge things that you learned.

Step 6: 3rd paragraph

Write how you can add value to the organization if you are hired. Just use 2-3 sentences to explain this.


You should sound confident while writing a cover letter, but avoid sound overconfident. You should sound sincere in seeking employment but never sound begging. It’s not good for health and morale. Be professional and sound like one. No one cares how you got that stain on your shoes. They just do not like stains.

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