Template of Standard Business Format (Cover Letter)
(The format is the same for Thank You Letters)
Your street or box number
City, State, Zip
City, State, Zip
Dear Mr. Or Ms. (person’s last name only):
Paragraph 1: State immediately the position you are pursuing and how you came to know of the opening. If
you have an alumnus, family or other contact at the organization, you can mention that here as well. Tell the
employer briefly (one or two sentences) why you are interested in this position.
Paragraph 2: Explain the skills and experiences you have that will make you successful in the position. Talk
about classes you have taken, activities you have been involved in, summer experiences you have had. You
do not have to have directly related experience but think about the skills you have gained from what you
have done and how those could relate to the duties of the position you are applying for. You do not want to
repeat your resume to the employer in this paragraph but this is the place to highlight related
accomplishments that will make the reader want to learn more, which will lead them to your resume. The
goal is to show the employer that you have confidence in your ability to succeed in the position.
Paragraph 3: Demonstrate that you have done some research about this organization. Go to their web site,
look in industry periodicals (Ad Week, Wall Street Journal, Chronicle of Higher Education) and talk to
alumni or other contacts that may currently work for the organization. This research does not have to be
extensive but it shows that you have taken some time to think about this position and put some effort into
this letter. This makes a very good impression on employers. It shows that this is not a form letter where
only the address and contact name is changed for each position.
Paragraph 4: State that you would welcome a personal interview to further discuss this opportunity. If you
need to explain anything out of the ordinary on your resume, this is the place to do it. You might mention
that if you do not hear anything from the potential employer in two to three weeks time that you will call to
follow up this letter to see where they are in their process. Finish by thanking them for their attention and
express a desire to meet them sometime in the near future.
Your signature (leave 4 blank spaces for this)
Your name in print