How To Write A Cover Letter (Definitive Guide 2019 + Template)

By Mike Simpson

So you want to learn how to write a cover letter…

But let me ask you this:

Have you ever been on a blind date?

It can be overwhelmingly nerve wracking.

There you are, all dressed up in your finest, ready to sit down across the table from someone you know absolutely nothing about, and hopefully survive the meeting without too much trouble.

At the absolute best, you two hit it off.

Things are great and you discover through your first awkward meeting that you’re perfect for each other and destined for years of happy togetherness.

At the worst, you’re forced to sit across from someone you have absolutely nothing in common with. 

You spend the entire date suffering through what can feel like absolute eternity, stumbling through awkward starts and stops in the conversation..

But what if you each had a cheat sheet?

A sort of pre-blind date rundown of who you’re going to meet?

A cheat sheet that includes all sorts of vital information like who you are and what you can bring to the relationship. It would make things so much easier, right?

Of course!

Now, what if you not only had this cheat sheet, but you got to look at it and decide if you even wanted to go on that date in the first place?  Even better, right?

FREE BONUS PDF CHEAT SHEET: Get our "Perfect Cover Letter" Cheat Sheet that gives you a Step-by-Step Process that will help you produce a perfect cover letter.

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR CHEAT SHEET

In the business world, interviews are a lot like blind dates.

Employers sit down with potential employees and over the course of the meeting, both parties try to learn enough about each other to decide if working together is  good idea or a bad idea…just without the awkward hug/kiss thing at the end…hopefully.

See…not so far off from our blind date scenario from earlier…but there is ONE big difference. 

Did you know that companies do have those little cheat sheets on potential employees and that they do ‘pre-screenings’ before the offer to interview is even considered?

That’s right! They do.

Every single piece of information you send a company you’re applying to is going to be thoroughly looked at to determine your potential for compatibility, starting with your cover letter.

“But wait,” you say, “what’s a cover letter, and more importantly, why do I need to send one along with my resume?”

Don’t worry, we’re going to explain exactly what it is…and so much more. 

In fact, over the course of this article, we’re going to discuss a number of things you’ll need to know in order to make your cover letter not only right for who you are and what you bring to the table…but tailor it so it’s absolutely perfect for your first blind date…er, we mean…the job you’re applying for.

What Is A Cover Letter Anyway?

Before you learn how to write a cover letter, you first need to understand what it is!

A professional cover letter is a short, single page letter you should include with every application and/or resume you send out.  

It’s a quick way for you to introduce yourself to an employer and gives them a taste of you…not just your skills (which they will get by looking at your resume.) 

Not only does it act as an introduction, it will also let whoever is reading it (hiring managers) know exactly why you are sending them your information as well as potentially help open the door to future meetings…and interviews! 

Remember, first impressions count…even when they’re on paper, so let’s make sure yours is as perfect as possible. You should start by downloading our “Perfect Cover Letter Cheat Sheet”, which will show you how to build your cover letter in quick, step-by-step format. Click here to download the cheat sheet now.

Why Do I Need One?

Okay, so I get what a cover letter is, but why do I have to write one?  Shouldn’t my resume be strong enough on its own?    

Ideally, yes, you want to make sure the resume you are submitting is as strong as possible and perfectly tailored to the job you’re applying for (more on tailoring in a bit) but simply sending it in without including a cover letter can work against you. 

As we outlined in our article How to Make a Resume 101,” a resume is a document that summarizes your skills, abilities and accomplishments.  A well made one should