Format & Intro Paragraph Cover letters, as a job search tool, should still follow proper business format. You will have the same header as your resume and your references – think of it as your personal letterhead. You will include the date, the company applied for and their address, as well as a name and/or a title of who you are writing to. Try hard to get a name – read the posting carefully to see if it says who to address or who the role reports to, check the website for application instructions or a name if you know the person’s title, or even call the company and ask whom to address your letter to (if you can reach a live person on the phone). If you can get a name, use both the first and last name, along with their title or department in the “inside address” (the company you are applying to) and Dear Mr or Ms and their last name in your salutation. If you cannot get a name or a title, choose Dear Hiring Manager, or Dear Human Resources, as opposed to Dear Sir/Madam (which is outdated) or To Whom it May Concern (too generic). Your first paragraph should indicate the purpose of the letter - in other words, why you are writing. You should indicate how you learned about the opportunity, especially if you were referred by someone within the company/organization. Indicate why you are interested in that job/company/industry – whatever during your research made you think “I really, really want this job”. You also want to mention why the Recruiter/Employer should keep reading – which you will elaborate on in the next one or two paragraphs. A properly formatted resume goes a long way.