COVER LETTER FORMAT
This is an example of a
generic cover letter
format. Use your
Note: If a hiring manager’s
creativity to find a format
information is not available
that best fits you and the
Name of Organization
address it to: Hiring Manager
City, State, Zip Code
Note: If you don’t know the recipient’s gender, write Dear First Last.
Dear Ms. or Mr. Last Name:
If a name is not provided, write “Dear Hiring Manager:”
Opening Paragraph: Introduce yourself to your reader (not, “Hi, my name is Julie Mills”, rather
something like: “I am a senior at Mills college writing to apply for ________”). Specify the position for
which you’re applying. State where you saw it posted. Mention the contact that referred you – with
their permission – if the employer knows them. You might briefly summarize your specific qualifications
for or interest in the position.
Middle Paragraph(s): Use the position description/job announcement as your guide to focus on one or
two specific examples from your resume that demonstrate you have the skills the employer seeks. Don’t
repeat long sections of your resume. Highlight the most relevant skills/experiences and emphasize
accomplishments and results that relate to the position. Use terms and a language style to the field.
Show you’ve researched the organization, but don’t recite facts and figures from their website. Connect
what you know about the organization to your experience.
Your goal with the letter is to show where the match is between you, the position, and this organization.
What is it about their mission, clients, programs, services, and so forth that attracts you? By now, the
recipient should clearly understand what you’d add to the organization, be convinced of your
enthusiasm for the position, want to read your resume, and talk with you. Make your skills and
qualifications obvious, not implied, to the reader.
Closing Paragraph: You might briefly summarize your qualifications and interest in the position, but
avoid direct repetition from the above. Don’t give a long list of skills; instead, you might mention the
most important two or three. Offer a next step: Will you be calling to arrange an in-person or phone
interview? Be in the area on a certain day and follow up to meet? Do you look forward to hearing from
the employer? Thank the employer for considering your application.
Note: Not “Best”, “Yours” or anything too casual
Note: Either double space between closing and name without a
signature OR insert an electronic signature with your name printed
below the signature