Skip to Main Content

Cover Letters Guide


 i.e. Dear Mr./Ms. (last name only)

  • Address your cover letter to a specific person when possible using Dear Mr. (last name of the person) or Dear Ms. (last name of the person). 
  • When you are not sure which one to use (Mr./Ms.), Dear Pat James (first and last name without using Ms./Mr.) 
  • If you don’t have a name you should use “Dear Hiring Manager”, “Dear Hiring Team etc.
  • Avoid using “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam”

screenshot of salutation section of cover letter

First Paragraph

Your first paragraph should be two to four sentences. Questions to answer in this section could include: 

  • What job are you apply for? 
  • Why are you interested in the role? 
  • Why are you a good fit for the role / company? Demonstrate that you have done some research about this organization.
  • TIP: In this first paragraph think of stating why you want to work for this organization.

Additional details to add to your first paragraph could include:

  • What education or experience do you have that connects to the job?
  • If you have a contact in the organization you're applying to, mention that person here. 

labelled screenshot of first paragraph from cover letter