Home » Blog » Cover letter basics » How To Write The First Paragraph Of Your Cover Letter

The first paragraph of your cover letter is the most important paragraph in your entire CV package because it needs to grab the attention of the hiring manager and get the rest of your credentials read. For such an important paragraph, there is not a great deal of information that goes into the first paragraph of your cover letter. But when you get that first paragraph right, then you significantly increase your chances of getting the interviews you need to land the job of your dreams.

Speak directly to the hiring manager about who you are and why you are writing

The salutation leading into the first paragraph of your cover letter should address the hiring manager directly. Some job advertisements will give you the name of the hiring manager, but you may have to do some research on your own to find the hiring manager’s name. A customised cover letter always has a better chance of getting read over a generic one. After your salutation, you need to tell the hiring manager your name and why you are writing. If you are responding to a job advertisement, then mention where you saw the advertisement and what position you are applying for. If you are applying for a job you found from your own research, then mention the person who referred you and the position you are applying for. Also remember, clearly state the position you are applying for. For example, if you are writing a cover letter for a warehouse job, specify ‘warehouse associate’ or ‘logistics coordinator’. This will prevent confusion if the company is hiring for more than one position in that department.

Tell the hiring manager what to expect next

If you are submitting your credentials for the hiring manager to consider, then that is what you say in the second sentence of your cover letter. If your cover letter is being written to serve some other purpose, then the second sentence in the first paragraph is when you identify that purpose.

Keep the first paragraph of your cover letter short

The first paragraph of your cover letter should only be two sentences and those sentences should be very concise. There should be no unnecessary words in the opening paragraph of your cover letter because you want all of the information in that cover letter to catch the eye of the hiring manager. Fluff words and unnecessary language will immediately cause the hiring manager to set your letter to the side and move on to the next one.

Proofread your first paragraph carefully

There should be no grammatical mistakes or spelling errors in the first paragraph of your cover letter. While this rule does generally apply to your entire cover letter and CV, it is especially important in the first paragraph.

Sample opening paragraph

A good opening paragraph to a cover letter will look like this: Dear Mr. Anderson, My name is Trent Williams and I am responding to your advertisement for a plumber’s apprentice in the Friday January 9, 2015 edition of the times. I am submitting my credentials for your consideration.
CVHelp has the cover letter templates you will need to create the ideal cover letter for your CV presentation. Use the professional samples and other resources available at CVHelp to get your cover letter perfect and make sure that it is seen by the right hiring managers. When you take your career seriously, then you need to utilise the resources available at CVHelp.

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