How to Include Bullet Points in a Cover Letter

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The purpose of a cover letter is to persuade the hiring manager that you’re a good fit for the job. Think of your cover letter like a sales pitch: while a resume outlines the entirety of your related work experience and skills, your cover letter gives the highlights. The goal is to grab the reader’s attention and convince them that your application should make it to the next round.

Of course, hiring managers and recruiters are busy. One study found that recruiters spend an average of just six seconds reviewing a resume before moving it to the “yes” or “no” pile. Adding bullets to your cover letter can help you make the most of those six seconds, highlighting your relevant experience and matching it to the job listing’s requirements.

Best of all, bullets highlight your experience and skills in a way that stands out immediately. The reader might skim your opening paragraph, but her eyes will automatically pause when she sees a bulleted list of qualifications.

How to Include Bullet Points in a Cover Letter

Start your cover letter with an introductory paragraph that explains why you are writing. When explaining your related experience, bullet each of your job qualifications. Each bullet point should include a concise phrase or sentence that begins with an action word; you can include a period at the end of each sentence.

Use simple bullets such as circles, dots, hyphens or small squares. Avoid other symbols that might look too confusing or may not upload properly when you apply for jobs online. Keeping it simple will avoid funky formatting in your cover letter.

To generate your bullet points, match your qualifications to the job description. Include the skills that are the closest match to the job.

You might also include keywords related to the job, but not specifically listed in the job listing. To figure out which keywords to include, scan job postings for other, related positions at other companies, or scan this list of skills to include in a cover letter or resume.

Letter Introduction

The first paragraph of your letter should include information on why you are writing.

Refer to the position you are applying for and tell the hiring manager where you found the job listing. If you were recommended by a contact, now’s the time to mention it.

Next, provide a brief introduction, followed by the bullets.

Bullet Points

  • The middle section of your cover letter should include what you have to offer.
  • Mention how your qualifications match the job you are applying for.
  • Highlight your most relevant experience.
  • Show the employer why you're a great match.
  • Be selective: you don’t need to include every skill and achievement, no matter how impressive they might be. Restrict yourself to qualifications that match the job description and show that you’re an outstanding fit for the position.

Letter Closing

Finish your cover letter with a closing paragraph and your signature.

Tips for Writing Bullet Points

When you’re writing your bullet points, don’t copy from your resume or from the employer’s job posting. Take the time to write unique statements for each, based on your qualifications for the job. Include 3-6 bullet points listing your expertise and accomplishments.

Remember that cover letters are intended to persuade. As you write, focus on making the case that you’re the best candidate for the job.

Once you’ve set up your letter with an introduction, bullets, and a closing, you can simply swap out the bullet points when you write each new cover letter. It is a quick and easy way to customize your job application letters for each position you apply for.

Cover Letter Bulleted List Examples

  • Manage company communications including extensive social media experience.
  • Experience with C+, UNIX, Shell and Python scripting.
  • Work with students to educate and prepare them for careers using career advising techniques, career development strategies, and career preparation techniques.
  • Experience as a teacher’s aide in elementary school classrooms.
  • Certified human resources professional with extensive recruiting and hiring experience.
  • Manage complex projects from start to completion while ensuring client satisfaction and meeting all scheduled dates.

    More Cover Letter Tips

    See the complete guide to writing cover letters for more on what to include, how to write a cover letter, cover letter formats, targeted cover letters and cover letter samples and examples.