Image of a pen with a notebook with "Cover Letter" written on itWriting cover letters can be tough, but you can learn what to include in yours in today’s blog post. Read to find out how to get your cover letter noticed by employers and whether you should disclose your disability.

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Ticket to Work logo and The Seal of the United States Social Security Administration
Ticket to Work logo and The Seal of the United States Social Security Administration
Ticket to Work logo and The Seal of the United States Social Security Administration
Access to Employment Support Services for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries Who Want to Work
 
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A Better Cover Letter

May 11, 2017

If you’re in the market for a new job, you’ve probably written a cover letter. A cover letter introduces you to potential employers and explains why you’re the best person for the job. This can seem like a difficult task, but following a few tips can improve your cover letters and make writing them easier.

What to include in your cover letter

Cover letters should include a few basic parts:

  • Image of a pen with a notebook with "Cover Letter" written on itAn introduction: Let the hiring manager know who you are and what job you’re applying for.
  • A summary of related job skills: Highlight the skills you have that match the job you’re interested in. Make sure you explain how these skills match the job responsibilities.
  • A call to action: Ask for an interview or invite employers to talk more about the job and your qualifications. Encourage the hiring manager to get in touch with you.
  • Your contact information: Include the best way for the organization to reach you. Make sure employers can easily get in touch with you to set up an interview.

Remember to proofread your cover letter and resume and to ask someone else, whose judgment and proofreading skills you trust, to take a look before you send them to a potential employer.

Should you disclose your disability?

Disclosing your disability in a cover letter is up to you. If you decide to disclose your disability, employers may ask you to fill out a job application that includes a formal opportunity to discuss your disability and accommodations you may need on the job. Whether or not you disclose your disability, focus your cover letter on the skills you have that make you a great fit for the job.

There are a few reasons you may want to think about whether to disclose your disability in your cover letter. You may choose to discuss how you will perform certain job tasks with or without a reasonable accommodation. You may also explain any gaps in employment in your cover letter.

In Disclosure: Let’s Talk About It, guest blogger Melanie Whetzel of the Job Accommodation Network answers questions about disclosing your disability to employers.

Additional Resources

As you start looking for work, the Ticket to Work (Ticket) program can help. With the Ticket program, you can work with service providers to find the supports and services you need to succeed in your job search and transition to work. In particular, Employment Networks (EN) are Ticket program service providers that offer assistance in searching for work, writing resumes and cover letters, applying for jobs, and practicing interview skills. ENs can also provide ongoing support to help you keep or advance in your job. 

To find an EN or learn more about other service providers, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967 (TTY). You can also use the Find Help tool to search for providers by service options, like career consulting, to help with resume and cover letter writing.

For more information on how to get started, check out:

About Ticket to Work

Social Security’s Ticket program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to work. The Ticket program is free and voluntary. It helps people with disabilities move toward financial independence and connects them with the services and support they need to succeed in the workforce.

Learn More

To learn more about the Ticket program, visit www.ssa.gov/work. You can also call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket program Find Help tool.