How to craft an eye-catching business cover letter in 5 steps
The business industry is packed full of different career paths, from accounting and consulting to finance and entrepreneurship. To win a business position, you will not only a resume that details your professional experience but also a cover letter that conveys your dedication to the field.
In this guide, we will teach you 5 essential steps for writing a business cover letter. Keep reading to learn all about:
- How to format a business cover letter header & headline
- Why you need a personalized greeting on your business cover letter
- How to write a compelling business cover letter introduction
- Questions to answer on your cover letter to show professional value
- What to include in a business cover letter closing statement
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1. How to properly format a business cover letter header & headline
The first key step to writing a business cover letter is to create a well-formatted header and headline.
Cover letter headers are the short blocks of text often found in the top left corner of the document that detail all the necessary applicant and company information.
As for the cover letter headline, this is a brief title statement that helps to grab the attention of employers while simultaneously previewing the information to come.
Below, we have provided more in-depth explanations and examples to help illustrate how to create each of these cover letter elements:
Formatting the header
A cover letter header can vary in style and order of information depending on the aesthetic you are after. However, regardless of appearance, a strong header will always include:
- The name of the company and department you are applying to
- Your name and professional title
- Your contact information (phone number, email address, LinkedIn, etc.)
When you put this all together, your business cover letter header should look similar to this example
To: KPMG, Accounting Department
From: Joe King, Business & Accounting Professional
(123) 456-7890 | firstname.lastname@example.org | linkedin.com/in/joe-king
Writing the headline
For the headline of your business cover letter, your goal should be to emulate a headline that a newspaper or magazine would use for a major story. It should be eye-catching while also being honest, accurately portraying the information you will explain within the letter.
To write a cover letter headline, you should always use a keyword related to the position, an eye-catching number or trigger word, a powerful adjective or verb, and a promise.
Here is an example of an effective headline from a Business cover letter, followed by a breakdown of each component
My 3 Excellent Business Skills & How I Will Apply Them for Your Clients’ Needs
Trigger Word/Number: 3 Business Skills
Adjective/Verb: Excellent, Apply
Promise: Your Clients’ Needs – by including this detail in your headline, you indicate to employers that you will not only be explaining your skills but also relating these skills to their specific company and client needs.
2. How to personalize greeting on your business cover letter
Once you have created your header and have your headline in place, the next step is to craft the greeting to your business cover letter.
In the past, job applicants were encouraged to use vague and generalized greetings, such as “To Whom It May Concern.” Nowadays, employers are looking for a more personalized approach, with greetings addressed to specific people or departments proving to be far more effective and impressive.
Additionally, a personalized greeting on a cover letter shows the employer that you not only have great attention to detail but also that you have taken the time to do your research before applying.
If you have done your due diligence and are unable to pinpoint the exact person or department that will be reviewing your application, try out one of these alternatives:
To the [Company Name] Team
To the [Company Name] Hiring Manager
3. How to write a compelling business cover letter introduction
With the header, headline, and greeting of your cover letter out of the way, it’s time to write your introductory paragraph.
To make this introduction both compelling and impressive to employers, you should aim to include:
- A brief overview of your professional history and goals
- A statement on why you are enthusiastic about applying to this company
- A mutual acquaintance (when possible)
Here is an example to help demonstrate how to write a business cover letter introduction
To the [Company Name] Hiring Manager,
I am a Business professional with 3+ years of experience working in Finance & Accounting. After having the pleasure of meeting your Executive Assistant, Jane Doe, at a recent conference, Ms. Doe connected with me via LinkedIn and recommended I apply for this position. Upon reviewing your company mission, I have chosen to apply as our goals and morals align perfectly.
4. How to show professional value on your business cover letter
Next up in your business cover letter are the body paragraphs, where you will offer a more in-depth explanation of why you are a great fit for the company and vice versa.
A well-written Business cover letter will typically contain between 2 to 4 body paragraphs in total that answer each of the following questions:
- What excites you about working at this company?
- What do you hope to learn from working at this company?
- What accomplishments or qualifications make you stand out as an applicant?
- What key skills do you possess that are relevant to the position?
Describing accomplishments with specific and quantifiable details is especially important, as this gives employers real-life examples of the value you have to offer.
Here is an example of how to describe an accomplishment in a business cover letter
As a Business Consultant for [Former Employer], I traveled to more than 15 international locations to meet with high-profile financial clients, fostering long-lasting business relationships with these clients. Additionally, I onboarded an additional 10 new international clients, resulting in a 45% increase in quarterly revenue for the company.
5. What to include in a business cover letter closing statement
To finish off your Business cover letter strong, you will need an excellent closing statement. This closing statement should include:
- An enthusiastic sentence saying you are looking forward to hearing from them
- An additional sentence stating you will follow up, including how you will contact them or how they can contact you
- A formal sign-off
Here is an example of an effective closing statement from a business cover letter
With my strong working relationship with clients both in-country and internationally, I am confident I can expand your clientele and foster long-lasting relationships with new and existing clients alike. I would love to connect directly either via virtual meeting or in-person in the coming week, and am available to schedule a meeting anytime Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The best way to reach me is at (123) 456-7890 or through email at email@example.com.
Follow this cover letter outline for maximum success.