A cover letter is a letter of introduction and an invitation to the employer to read your resume. It is
standard business practice to send a cover letter along with your resume, even when faxing or e-mailing a
prospective employer. When sent by mail, a cover letter literally "covers" your resume, hence the name.
Don't send a form letter. Always personalize your cover letters to the specific job you want to be
considered for, ideally including the name and title of the hiring authority.
If that is not possible, you can
address the letter as "Dear Hiring Manager." Your cover letter should never be longer than a single page.
You want to use the same font and paper as your resume. You can either copy the format for listing your
identifying information from your resume, or you can write your letter using the format for writing
standard business letters.
SAMPLE COVER LETTER FORMAT:
Your street address
Your city, state zip code
(Your area code) your phone number
Your email address
Name of person you are contacting
City, state zip code
Dear Mr. or Ms.______________________________________:
Paragraph 1: Tell the employer your reason for writing. If you are writing in response to an advertisement
in the paper, include the title of the position you are applying for and how you found out about it. If
somebody referred you to this company, list that person's name and title and where they work. Write
something positive in this first paragraph (I am very interested in applying for the position of…..). You can
even use this to discuss an idea or a need they have that you discovered through your research of their
Paragraph 2: Briefly highlight the strengths of your resume by stressing what you can do for the
employer. By carefully analyzing the job description, you can determine the skills the employer is looking
for. Try to match the employer's requirements with the qualifications that you can offer. Sometimes an
additional paragraph is needed to list all of your strengths and accomplishments, rather than trying to fit
them into a single paragraph. You can also insert a table with ‘specific needs of employer’ and ‘your
accomplishments, experience and skills’ that meet those needs. A bulleted list is also fine. Your goal is to
get their attention and make it easy for them to see your value to them as a candidate. If you get their
attention they will read your resume next!
Paragraph 3: Request an interview or tell the employer that you will call for an appointment.
(sign your name in this space)
Type your name