Sample Cover Letter Format


In this style, the paragraphs are indented 5-7 tabs, and the date and signature block
are aligned in their respective spaces, just slightly to the right of center.
[DON’T put your name here]
Your address
City, State Zip
Four hard returns
Contact’s Name
Name of Organization
Street Address
City, State Zip
[note that there are 2 spaces between state and zip code]
Dear Dr., Mr., Ms.
Judge, etc.:
[use colon, not comma]
Begin your letter by introducing yourself, but
[Indent one tab to begin these paragraphs]
keep it brief and to the point. Specifically, tell the reader (1) why you are writing, and (2) what
position you are seeking. If you have the name of someone who is known to both you and the
reader, or know a particular fact about the reader him or herself, you should use it here—e.g., “Mr.
Ronald McDonald suggested that I write...,” or “I met you during your presentation at the Batten
School...” The last sentence of this paragraph should be a “thesis,” in the sense that it sets out the
2-4 qualifications that you will discuss in the body of your letter – e.g.,
“I am truly hilarious, and,
coupled with my bright red hair and great big nose, I believe I will be a great clown in your circus.”
The middle paragraphs should serve as a general summary of your educational background
and/or work experience, organized in a manner that logically follows your “thesis” sentence–e.g.,
“Having worked in comedy clubs for the last 10 years, I have developed a sense of humor that
allows me to appeal to crowds of all ages.”
Back up this sentence with some concrete examples,
but take care to integrate these examples – your paragraph should not come across as simply a
listing of accomplishments or recapitulation of your resume.
In addition to my great sense of humor, my hair is so bright that people constantly mistake
This paragraph, and the rest of your “body” paragraphs, should flow nicely
me for a stop sign
from paragraph to paragraph, fully elaborating on your thesis sentence and building upon each
preceding paragraph. If you can flip the body paragraphs around and they still make sense, it means
your “flow” and transitions can (should) be more tight and crisp!
The main purpose of this paragraph is to ask for an
Your closing paragraph goes here.
interview. You may indicate that you will be contacting the reader to discuss employment
opportunities or an interview. You might also use this paragraph to inform the reader that you will
be in town during a specific period of time, during which you are available for an interview.
Two hard returns
 Four hard returns, with your signature above
Your typed name
Two hard returns
[or Enclosures, if more than one]


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