Section Menu


Write a Cover Letter

When you apply for a job, send a cover letter with your resume. Your cover letter will be the first thing used to decide if you qualify for a job.

A good cover letter is:
  • one page long
  • includes three paragraphs
  • customized for the job you are applying for
  • addressed to the person who will be looking at the resumes

Paragraph 1: Why you are applying for the job

The first paragraph includes:

  • Title of the job that you are applying for
  • How you found out about the job (online, newspaper, etc…)
  • Why you want to work for the company

Paragraph 2: How your skills match the job

The second paragraph includes:

  • Two or three of your skills that are important to doing the job
  • A description of how your skills and experience match the job
  • How the company will benefit from hiring you

Paragraph 3: Next Steps

The third paragraph includes:

  • One sentence to say that you look forward to speaking with them 
  • How they can contact you to schedule an interview
  • How you plan to follow up about the job

Cover Letter Tips

  • Be brief; don’t ramble on about your life and career.
  • Address your cover letter to a specific person at the company.
  • Don't keep using the word “I.”   
  • Use active words (I am convinced), not passive words (I feel…).
  • Every cover letter is different and should be for the job you are applying for.
  • Show that you know a little about the company (go online and find out what they do).
  • Read your cover letter before sending it and check your spelling – using Spell Check does not catch all mistakes.
  • Never use texting shortcuts in your letter (example: I am interested in the job U r hiring 4.)
  • Use letter quality paper instead of copy paper. Print your resume on the same paper.
External Address (Url)
Flash Animation1
To control the size of the flash movie, you can use the property window and replace the description with the width and height in parenthesis. For ex (300, 400)

Rate this Page

27 rates / 4.4 average.

  • Statewide Interest

    Create a Great Resume!

    Illinois workNet Resume Builder The Illinois workNet Resume Builder is FREE to all Illinois workNet account holders. Log-in or sign up External link opens in a new window to:
    • Create or Manage Your Resumes.
    • Create or Manage Your Cover Letters.
    • Create or Manage Your Portfolios.
    • Create or Manage Your Assessments.
    • Create or Manage Your Interviews.
    • Create or Manage Your Video Resumes.
    • Create or Manage Your Resume Websites.

  • Illinois Department of Employment Security: Occupational Employment Statistics

    IDES Logo Find information on entry level, median, and experienced hourly (and annual) wages is available for Illinois, the Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), Economic Development Regions (EDRs), counties and the Local Workforce Areas (LWAs) in both Excel and Adobe Acrobat formats.

    Please visit Illinois Department of Employment Security External link opens in a new window.

values: no - before after


Copyright © 2006 - 2014 Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

Illinois workNet Centers are an equal opportunity employer/program. At Illinois workNet Centers, auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. All voice telephone numbers on this website may be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment by calling TTY (800) 785-6055 or 711.