What is Cover Letter?


A cover letter is like a sales letter. It should answer the employer’s needs and requirements. That is to say, it is very employer-centered.

Before you begin your cover letter, make sure that you have done a sufficient research on the employer, and read through all the requirements posted on the ad.

What should be included in a cover letter?

  • Your address
  • Date
  • Recipient’s Information (Including name, title, company name and address)
    Make sure the recipient’s name, title and address are correctly spelled.
  • Salutation
    Address the recipients with names instead of “Sir / Madame”.
  • Opening paragraph — Which posts are you applying for?
  • Second Paragraph — Why are you interested in the post?
  • Third Paragraph — Your strengths, achievements and experiences. Provide evidence. Do not copy directly from the resume, choose the best three that are relevant to the post.
  • Closing Paragraph — Request an opportunity for interview. Do remember to include you contact no.

Styles and Formats

  • Minimize the uses of personal pronoun like “I”, “we” and “my” for it sounds too self-centered.
  • Demonstrate your keen interest, and sell yourself without being aggressive or over-confident.
  • Highlight your achievements with supported facts.
  • Be concise about your points. Let the employer know that you are a focused person.
  • Be consistent about the font and font size.
  • Be business-like. Avoid using informal or too old-fashioned tone.
  • Arrange the letter in a readable manner, with adequate margins and spacing.
  • Customize your cover letter to match the employer, never send standardized letters to all employers.
  • 1 page maximum
  • Use good quality A4 paper that matches your resume.
  • The most common type of resume is “FULL BLOCK” format, in which all lines of the letter start from the left.

Points to note:

  • Send out your finished cover letter as soon as possible, for some of the employers might start recruiting before the application deadline.
  • Remember to sign your letter.


Source: Placement Centre, Hong Kong Baptist University