How to Write a Cover Letter to Get Your Dream Job


At Goodwill, your generous donations help support our mission of creating a pathway to a better future in Arizona. Proceeds help us fund our no-cost career centers that provide individuals with job resources like resume review and interview training. If you’re currently looking for a job, read on to learn how to create a cover letter that will stand out and help you get your dream job.

After you’ve completed your cover letter and resume, stop by one of our career centers and we’ll be happy to review it and provide feedback—for free!

Salutation
Start your letter with a semi-formal salutation. Try to avoid terms like “To whom it may concern.” Do some research to try and find the name of the hiring manager. Many job descriptions will list the name of the person who posted the job. Use “dear” instead of “hi” or “hello” to keep it more formal.

Introduction
Start your letter with a simple introduction. Include your name and a one-sentence synopsis of your current career title. At the end of the introduction paragraph, reiterate your interest in applying for the job.

Selling Yourself
It is a difficult challenge to communicate your entire career, work ethic and accomplishments on one piece of paper. It’s vital though that you sell yourself to a potential employer. Include one or two of your most recent major accomplishments that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. Look for keywords in the job description that you can work into your letter.

The key to selling yourself is to talk about accomplishments rather than responsibilities. If you can quantify those accomplishments, that’s even better. For example, if your work increased sales by 10%, include that number. Use colorful action words when appropriate, but don’t go overboard with the thesaurus.

Selling yourself can be tough, so consider asking old colleagues or friends to describe your strengths and successes. You may be surprised by how others perceive you. They might give you some great ideas for how you can communicate your unique talents to a potential employer. This section should be 2-3 short paragraphs.

Conclusion
At the end of your letter is where you should vibrantly express your interest in meeting the hiring manager for an interview. You should also communicate why you would be the best fit for the position. End the letter with “sincerely” and your name.

It is still a general rule that your cover letter should fit on one page. You may need to remove some “fluff” in order to do so. As you narrow in on a specific job you want to apply for, you can delete anything that doesn’t apply to that particular job.

Check out our online career services or find a career center near you for more helpful job tips.

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