Business Cover Letter

When you write a business cover letter you’re trying to impress the person who’ll read the letter.

A cover letter would be sent when you’re applying for a job, usually with your business resume or curriculum vitae. The letter introduces you and your resume to the person who’s responsible for deciding who’ll be asked to come for an interview. The letter needs to be well written and presented as often it’ll only be read for a few second, less than a minute. The recruiter will often have hundreds of applications, cover letters and resumes, to look at while making a short list.

The recruiter will only have a short time to read your business cover letter.

So your letter needs to introduce you quickly and clearly to the recruiter. To do this it needs to follow the proper format for business letters and use the business letter layout that the recruiter will be used to.

Making an ‘individual’ cover letter on pink paper with the information contained as a poem won’t impress the recruiter who wants someone who can follow expected business customs.

What to Include in a Business Cover Letter

In a clear and concise cover letter you should include all the information in three paragraphs.

In the first paragraph you should introduce yourself and explain which job you’re applying for (make the letter unique and specific to that job). This just needs to be two or three short sentences.

Then in the second paragraph you should highlight your best qualifications and how they specifically relate to the job you’ve applied for. Be specific about why you’re the best person for the job. But don’t overdo it. State the facts about your qualifications and how they fit the job profile but don’t exaggerate or lie, and keep your language formal and professional.

Don’t repeat everything from your business resume: just highlight the best points so the recruiter will actually spend time reading your resume. The cover letter is just to persuade the recruiter to stop and spend time looking at your resume rather than rejecting it without reading it.

In the third and final paragraph thank them for considering your application and state that you’re looking forward to meeting them at the interview.

Important Points to Remember

  • Each business cover letter should be individual and tailored to the specific job application.
  • Address the letter to a specific person. Try to find their name and use it on the letter.
  • Use a proper business letter template and format.
  • Use professional language.
  • Keep the letter short and to the point, no more than one side of A4 paper.
  • Check it and then check it again. If there are any mistakes they could lead to rejection. See the page about business proofreading and the English proofreading section for more help.
  • Print it on good quality paper.
  • Check and proofread it again.

When the cover letter is ready you need to make sure that your business resume is also correctly written and formatted so that it’s ready to send with the cover letter. Even if you’ve just recently updated it, check your resume again before posting it with the cover letter.

If you need any help checking your business cover letter you can use my proofreading service or come to the Excellent Proofreading and Writing Facebook page to ask me any questions.

Return to Writing a Business Letter from Business Cover Letter

Return to Excellent Proofreading and Writing Homepage from Business Cover Letter

Back to top of page

Proofreading service

Proofreading blog


Contact us

Privacy policy 

Terms and conditions

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Back to top of page

By Jolyon Dodgson, copyright © 2011-2020. - Proofreading and writing help for excellent first impressions.