How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job

Cover letters are often the most dread-worthy part of an application. After all, it’s not like sending a resume, where only a few tweaks are needed. Cover letters must be personal to the sender. At GrantMe, we use a cover letter template for our students, and it can be reduced to 5 east steps. If you want to learn how to write a cover letter for a job, watch our video below and keep reading!

Back to the Basics

To write a cover letter for a job, you must first ask yourself: what is the purpose of a cover letter? A cover letter exhibits your skills, qualifications and how you are a good fit for the job. Your cover letter should show your intention, interests and ability to communicate about your best qualities.

It should answer the following basic questions:

  • Do you have the skills needed for the role? 
  • Do you WANT the job? What gets you excited about the role?
  • Are you the right FIT for the organization? Do you share similar values and work styles?

Formatting should also be kept simple and readable. Consider the following:

  • Font size 10-12pt
  • 2cm margins on all edges
  • Save as a PDF so your document looks the same on all screens and devices.
  •  One page 

Do your Research

Make sure you are taking the time to research the industry, employer, and position, you are applying to. Your documents should demonstrate that you know something about the organization beyond basic details.

To start, research the following:

 Job description

  • What specific skills is the company looking for?
  • What are the values of the organization?

 Company website

  • What is the mission statement of the organization?
  • How do they describe themselves?

Company social media

  • What is their social media strategy?
  • What’s the focus of their social media content?

I’ve added just a few questions as a launching pad to your research!

Be Compelling

Now, I know it sounds counterintuitive to be informal in a cover letter, but being compelling will mean that your cover letter will sound more authentic! You want to distinguish yourself from the rest of the candidates by exhibiting your personality alongside your experiences. Your cover letter can also sound more compelling with the use of industry-related terms. This will show the interviewer or recruiter that you have experience in the field and are well-versed to be considered for the position. Last, avoid flowery and wordy words. Keep it simple! Statements like  “I am absolutely honoured to be applying for this prestigious role” sound a bit disingenuous.

Don’t be hesitant to delve into your interests when exhibiting your personality in a cover letter! Podcasts are often the inspiration behind people’s interest in a certain position. Curious about GrantMe favourite podcasts? Check out our video below!

Tell your Story

To tell your story, you should use the STAR method in your body paragraphs. The body paragraph should include your skills, and experiences. You can write this by making a template using the STAR method.


  • What was the situation?
  • Did you solve a problem?
  • Be specific: a job, club, group, class?


  • What was your specific task?
  • Did you work to improve something specific?


  • What concrete action did you take?
  • What did you personally do to help the team?


  • What was the result?
  • How did your organization benefit from your actions?
  • Results are quantifiable (i.e. increased revenue by $2,000) or qualitative (promoted to supervisor).

Did you know? We use the STAR method with our students for scholarship writing too. It’s included in our Essay Wizard writing toolkit!

Closing Paragraph

This is the finish line. Make sure to reiterate your interest in the position and passion in the field. Also include a CTA (call-to-action) for the interviewer – ask them to follow up with you by providing them your contact information. As well, if you have any deficiencies in your resume, like a low GPA or a gap in work history, outline the reasoning and your steps to improve! As a result, you will fill in the gaps of your deficiencies!

And thats it! With a little bit of writing, and following our template, you’ll be on your way to write a cover letter!

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