How to Write the First Paragraph of Your Cover Letter
Your cover letter is one of the first things that employers see when you apply for a new job. They use the content found in that letter with a copy of your resume to determine if you are worth a call back.
A strong cover letter that highlights the top skills you have and shows how your experience can help you with the job at hand is the key to getting an interview from a company. Though you may have a hard time identifying your key skills and putting those skills together in a cover letter, you can use online cover letter examples to see how you can grab the attention of employers.
Writing Your Cover Letter
A good cover letter starts with your name, address, email address, and phone number listed on the top. Include the name and address of the employer just beneath your contact information. You can then use a simple "dear hiring manager" to start the letter, though it's often helpful to check the company's website and find the name of the hiring manager or the person in charge of interviewing employees. Sign the cover letter with your full name or the full name you used when applying for the position.
The First Paragraph
The first paragraph of your cover letter is the most important. It is what hooks the reader and makes a hiring manager want to learn more about you. Some of the things you should address in that first paragraph include:
- where you first heard about the job opening
- your current position
- if you are currently in school and what level you are at, i.e. graduate school or college
- what you study/studied in school
- any personal connections you have to the job
Making Your Cover Letter Count
Have you ever had a song stuck in your head for hours? With the right opening, you can make your cover letter stick in the minds of potential employers in the same way. Keep the first paragraph of your cover letter short, succinct, and to the point.
Give employers a broad view of you as a person, including where you go to school or attended school, how you heard about the job opening, and why you decided to apply. Our cover letter templates can help you craft the perfect first paragraph and a great cover letter.