How To Write a Business Cover Letter
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated March 16, 2021 | Published February 4, 2020
Updated March 16, 2021
Published February 4, 2020
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
If you're interested in applying for a job, it's important to have a solid resume and cover letter that effectively outlines your qualifications for the position you're applying for. A cover letter is one of the first impressions a hiring manager will get of you so it's important to make it count. If you work in business, you should have a quality cover letter that accurately portrays who you are as a business professional while also displaying what you can bring to a new role. In this article, we will explain why a business cover letter is important and the steps to take in the creation of one.
Why is a business cover letter important?
When you apply for a job, employers will likely ask you for your resume and cover letter. While your resume lists your qualifications for the role, your cover letter provides you the opportunity to expand on your various experiences and skills mentioned on your resume. If your cover letter and resume are strong enough, a hiring manager is more likely to reach out to you and set up a time for an interview. Essentially, your cover letter could make or break your chance of advancing in the hiring process.
What to include in your cover letter
When you create your business cover letter, it's important to highlight your various qualifications that can be used to determine whether you'd make a good candidate. Here is what you should include in your professional business cover letter:
Your name and contact details: These two elements should be at the top of your cover letter. You should include your full name as well as your phone number and email address. Make sure that the email address you list is professional.
The employer's contact information: You should also include the employer's name, address, phone number and email at the top of your cover letter.
A professional salutation: Be sure to include the hiring manager's name when addressing your cover letter and avoid using "to whom it may concern." "Dear" works better when addressing a hiring manager for a cover letter.
A reference to the position you're applying for: This will let hiring managers know what job you're applying for so they can file your application and related documents accordingly.
An expansion of your qualifications: Be sure to include your relevant work experience, educational background and your skills as they pertain to this role.
A summary of what makes you a qualified candidate: After seeing your experience and skills, it's important to summarize what makes you the right fit for the job.
Ask the hiring manager to contact you: Make sure to include a call-to-action near the end of your cover letter. For example, "I have attached my resume to the email. Thank you for considering me. I look forward to speaking with you."
A professional closing: Consider using "All the best" or "Sincerely" to close out your cover letter.
The better you're able to create a cohesive and compelling cover letter, the greater your chances are of landing an interview. Make sure you've properly addressed each element in detail and that you're utilizing the entirety of your cover letter to improve your odds.
Related: How To Use Cover Letter Samples
How to create a business cover letter
Consider the following steps when creating a professional, business cover letter:
1. Review the job posting
Before you begin writing your cover letter, it's important to refer to the job you're applying for. Make sure to note any skills, experience or education requirements that the employer has mentioned. It's important that you not only meet these requirements but also effectively address how you meet them in your cover letter.
2. Make a list of keywords and skills
As you review the job posting, it's also important to consider any keywords mentioned that you plan to use in your cover letter. For example, if the job posting mentions a particular computer software, you should mention your experience with it in your cover letter.
3. List all contact information
When writing a cover letter, make sure to include your contact information so the hiring manager knows how to contact you. While you don't need to include your home address, you should include a professional email and your phone number. Keep this information at the top for a printed cover letter and below your signature for an email cover letter.
In addition, include the contact information of the hiring manager you're addressing. Include their name and position at the company or simply their company name and their contact information. If you don't have their contact information, you can contact the company to ask who you should address your cover letter to.
4. Write a salutation
This is the part of your cover letter where you'll address the hiring manager directly. Using "dear" is a great way to address them. For example, "Dear Ms. Smith" or "Dear Mr. John Doe." Avoid using "to whom it may concern" when writing a salutation.
5. Write an introduction
At the beginning of your introduction, mention the position you're applying for. For example, you can say, "I'm applying for the business analyst role at XYZ." As you continue, be sure to properly highlight your skills and state how you qualify for the role you're applying for.
6. Write the body of your cover letter
This is the part of your cover letter where you should expand on your work experiences. It can also be helpful to tell a story from your career to further expand on how your skills are utilized in the workplace. This will also allow the hiring manager to see your personality and how you conduct yourself in the workplace. Essentially, the body of your cover letter should illustrate how you are the best fit for the role. Be sure to detail any relevant qualifications.
7. Write a closing
When writing your closing statement, make sure to maintain a professional yet energetic tone to let the hiring manager know you're interested in the role. For example, you could say, "I believe my qualifications would make me a good fit for this role. I look forward to learning more about this position and your company."
8. Sign off your cover letter
As you sign off your cover letter, make sure you maintain a professional and respectful tone. It's important to use a formal closing when addressing someone you don't know. If you're writing to a colleague or another individual you know, you can close a little less formally. Some examples of how to properly close a cover letter include the following:
As you write your business cover letter, it can be helpful to refer to examples. Consider the following business cover letter examples to better understand how to craft your own.
Dear Ms. Jones,
I am writing to express my interest in the administrative assistant role at XYZ company. As a highly skilled business professional, I consistently look for ways to streamline office communication and organization, all while providing support to the workplace at large. I have several years of experience performing various clerical tasks and I would love the opportunity to offer my skills and experience to your company.
In my previous administrative assistant role at XYZ company, I effectively streamlined our office communication by implementing a new email software that saved our company $20,000 annually. I also managed all company travel arrangements and reduced travel costs by 40% and consistently looked for ways to better organize the company's files and reports. When problems arose, I addressed them in a timely manner and looked for the best possible course of action that would ultimately benefit the business.
I am an effective communicator and strive to relieve any stress from the workplace environment through my various responsibilities. In addition to my communication skills, I also have strong customer service, computer and interpersonal skills. As a business professional, I enjoy challenging myself and expanding my skill set on a daily basis.
I'd love the opportunity to continue to grow both personally and professionally in this role at XYZ company. I was very excited to hear about this opening and look forward to hearing more about it. I have attached my resume for your review. I look forward to hearing from you.
Dear Mr. Doe,
I am writing to apply for the executive assistant role as advertised for XYZ company. I was excited to see the job listed as I have several years of experience in similar positions. Because of this, I believe I'd be an asset to your company.
In my current role at XYZ company, I excel at my many duties including clerical work, travel arrangements and streamlined office communication. In coordinating travel for our executive leaders, I cut costs by 30% from the previous year. I also plan and organize all staff meetings and handle incoming calls daily. Having a streamlined system in place for office communication is a high priority for me. In the implementation of new systems, our company has seen a growth in productivity the past few months. I am efficient, reliable and highly organized. I also have experience in various computer software and type at 90 WPM. I have no doubt that my skills and qualifications would make me a great fit for your company.
I'm excited to hear back from you and learn more about this opportunity. I have attached my email to this cover letter. Feel free to contact me at any time.
Explore more articles
- FAQ About MBA/MSW Dual Degrees (Including Job Possibilities)
- 10 Expert Cross-Selling Tips for Sales Professionals
- What Are Microservices? (Plus Characteristics and Benefits)
- How To Get an AngularJS Certification (With Tips)
- How To Be a Good Executive Sponsor in 6 Steps
- How To Write an Air Force Letter of Recommendation (With Examples)
- Media Buy: Definition, Stages, How It Works and Tips
- How To Develop a Communication Campaign in 6 Steps
- 4 Steps for Calculating the Return on Retained Earnings Ratio
- What Is CRM Integration? 11 Types
- How To Brainstorm Ideas for a New Company or Startup
- FAQ: What Is Employee Control? (And How You Can Use It)