The 5 Essential Cover Letter Components Every Job Seeker Needs to Know

Updated Jan 5, 2023

Are you looking for strategies for optimizing your cover letter for ATS? Writing a great cover letter is an essential part of the job search process. To help you make sure your cover letter is as effective as possible, here are the five essential components every job seeker needs to know.

What You Will Learn:

  • How to craft an effective introduction in a cover letter
  • Tips for summarizing your qualifications and showcasing your skills
  • Strategies for conveying your personality in a cover letter
  • How to close a cover letter effectively


A cover letter is an important part of any job application – it's the first thing employers look at and can be the deciding factor in whether or not you get an interview. Crafting the perfect cover letter is no easy feat. Luckily, there are a few strategies you can use to optimize your cover letter to make sure it stands out from the rest.

Summarizing Your Qualifications

When writing your cover letter, you want to make sure to include relevant experience and qualifications that make you a great fit for the role. Summarize your qualifications in a few sentences and make sure to mention any awards or certifications you have.

Showcasing Your Skills

It's also important to showcase your skills and accomplishments in your cover letter. Show employers how you can add value to their organization by including relevant skills and highlighting any past successes.

Conveying Your Personality

Your cover letter should also convey your personality and give employers a sense of who you are. If you're applying for a creative role, use your cover letter to show off your creativity. If you're applying for a customer service role, make sure to emphasize your customer service skills.

Closing the Letter

Finally, make sure to close your letter with a strong call to action. Request a meeting or an interview and provide your contact information so employers can easily get in touch.

Strategies for Optimizing Your Cover Letter for ATS

When writing your cover letter, it's important to keep in mind that employers often use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to review job applications. To make sure your cover letter makes it past the ATS, use keywords from the job description in your cover letter and make sure to include all relevant skills and qualifications. With these strategies, you'll be sure to have an ATS-friendly cover letter that gets you noticed. Below we answer common questions entrepreneurs have about these topics.

1. Introduction

What prompted you to write this article?

The best way to answer this question is to show how your article helps the reader. If it wasn't written, what would the reader miss out on? Talk about why it's unique and valuable. Talk about the research you did to write it. Mention the challenges you overcame to publish it. Share what you learned in the process. Talk about the people you interviewed. Talk about your own experience with the topic. If you can make the reader feel something, that's a plus too. If you can make them laugh or cry, that's even better.

What do you hope to accomplish with this article?

Writers should aim to answer the question, What do you hope to accomplish with this article? by making their audience think. Whether it's through humor, an eye-opening statistic, or a relatable story, writers should strive to make their audience engage with their piece in some way. When a reader is able to take away something from a piece of writing, whether it be a new outlook or a good laugh, that's when a writer has accomplished their goal.

2. Summarizing Your Qualifications

What experiences have prepared you for success in this role?

A writer should talk about an experience from the past that has helped them develop the skills needed for success in this role. This could be anything from taking a class in a subject related to this role or industry, to working with someone who has helped them learn the necessary skills for the job. The writer should provide specific examples of how this experience has helped them and make sure to highlight any skills they have learned or developed as a result of this experience.

What unique skills and qualifications do you bring to the position?

When answering this question, it's important to highlight your relevant skills and qualifications. You should highlight skills that are relevant to the position for which you're applying, and be sure to quantify them wherever possible. For example, if you are a writer applying for a position that requires writing, you should emphasize your experience and the number of articles you've written.

It's also important to mention any certifications or qualifications that you have. These are concrete ways to demonstrate your skills and will help you stand out from the competition. When answering this question, be sure to highlight your unique skills and qualifications so that you can stand out from the crowd.

3. Showcasing Your Skills

What skills have you acquired that you believe are valuable to the role you are applying for?

Ever since I started working as a full-time writer, I've learned to become more confident in my grammar, spelling, and word choice. I learned the importance of "show, don't tell," and that I should never be satisfied with just one draft. I also learned not to be afraid of criticism—if my readers tell me that a sentence sounds awkward, I am more than happy to take another look and improve it.

What have you done to demonstrate your commitment to developing those skills?

As a writer, I've learned that you should always show off your strengths in your writing sample. Explain how you've used specific skills to support ideas, for example: research skills, organization skills, vocabulary skills, etc. While you may have other skills, the ones you're demonstrating will be the ones that support the claims you're making in your writing sample.

4. Conveying Your Personality

How do you prefer to demonstrate your creativity?

My preferred method of demonstrating my creativity is by creating a fun and engaging experience for my audience. I do this by telling stories and sharing my experiences in a way that is relatable and entertaining. If you want to make a creative answer, show your creative side. Be yourself and have fun with it. If you're serious, you'll come across that way. Be lighthearted, share the humorous side of your experiences, and be creative with how you describe things.

How would you describe yourself to a stranger?

As a writer, I'd be honest about what I enjoy writing. It's tough to describe myself because my interests are so diverse, so I'd say that I enjoy writing about pop culture and entertainment. I've also been writing a lot about food recently, so I'd say that I'm also a food lover. I think it's important to be honest about what you enjoy writing about because it's a reflection of your personality. As a writer, I'm very diverse in my interests, so I think it's important to be genuine about what you enjoy writing about.

5. Closing the Letter

Is there any additional information I can provide to help you make your decision?

The question "Is there any additional information I can provide to help you make your decision?" is a great opportunity to tell the hiring manager what you can bring to the table beyond your portfolio. Consider highlighting your skills and experience that align with the job description. Mention what you're looking for in a company or role. Also, don't hesitate to ask them whether they have any concerns about your portfolio or qualifications.

How soon can I expect to hear back from you about your decision?

If you've sold the editor on your idea, then you can expect a reply in a few days. If you've not sold the editor on your idea, then you can expect a reply in a few minutes. It's that simple. I once had a writer ask me, "How soon can I expect to hear back from you about your decision?" The writer had submitted a piece, and I had already told them I wasn't interested. They waited two weeks before sending a message asking about the piece, and I promptly responded to say no.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Provide an introduction that outlines the purpose of your cover letter.
  2. Summarize your qualifications and highlight any relevant experience.
  3. Showcase your skills and how they can benefit the company.
  4. Use your cover letter to convey your personality and enthusiasm.
  5. Close the letter with a call to action and contact information.


In conclusion, when writing a cover letter, it's important to include an introduction, a summary of your qualifications, a showcase of your skills, an expression of your personality, and a closing. By taking these elements into account, you can create a powerful cover letter that will make a strong impression on the hiring manager. With the right preparation and an understanding of the essential components, you can craft a well-written, compelling cover letter that will help you secure the job.

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