The Resume Cover Letter

The resume is a powerful document; however, the resume cover letter is required if you hope to gain some attention.

The resume itself will tell who you are, and with some luck and planning, the document can be a very good description of your skills and your experience.  However, it is simply a document.  You need to have some way of communicating to the reader what it is that you hope to accomplish.

Of course, if you can deliver the resume in person and have a short interview – even if there’s no job – that would be the ideal.  Interviewing someone about the potential of a job – or what would an employer seek in someone looking for a particular job – is a very helpful way to discover what you might want to include in a resume or the job application if you are hoping to apply for that specific job.

This page should help you in preparing the cover letter for your resume.

Sending out a great number of resumes with cover letters for the resumes is not the best way to apply for a job.

Let’s set the scenario.  You have been given a lead.  You need to contact the potential employer by mail – send in a resume.  Maybe there is a publicized job opportunity, or it is a rather quiet one that you learned about from a friend.  Regardless, you will need to have the cover letter or the resume.

The purpose of the cover letter for the resume is to accompany the resume document and explain  it or introduce it to the reader.  It should read something like the following:

The first paragraph of the resume cover letter

Here is the first paragraph:  The first short paragraph

Dear …

Please consider me for the position of …  I know that my skills and experience will be an asset to your firm.

The first short paragraph introduces the document and the purpose of the letter.

The middle paragraphs of the resume cover letter

Tell about why you are qualified for the position in the next paragraph(s).

Focus your skills and what you can contribute to your reader depending on what type of job you are applying for.  You will probably use a lot of I here because you are “selling yourself.”  The  main focus should be, however, on what you can “contribute” to your reader’s needs.

I have been working as a  … for a number of years, and I have learned the skills necessary to be a valuable addition to your company.  I can … and I can…

Attached is my resume which can provide you details of my experience and skills.

The closing paragraph of the resume cover letter

Then, a short closing paragraph to finish up.  Begin with a direct request for action.  Add a goodwill comment that will highlight once again the benefits to the reader.

Please contact me at… to discuss how I can contribute to your firm.  I look forward very much to speaking with you about this opportunity.


Please contact me at … to discuss …  I look forward very much to being able to join your company and grow with you.

Something like either of the paragraphs above would work very well. 


The cover letter for the resume can be helpful if you follow the guideline summary below:

  • Emphasize what you can contribute to the reader.
  • Keep the opening paragraph direct and short.
  • Lead into the middle paragraph(s) where you tell what you can offer to the reader.
  • Close with a short paragraph that begins with a direct request for action.
  • Add a closing goodwill statement that highlights the benefits to the reader.

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