When you apply for a job, the purpose of a cover letter is to get the hiring manager to read your resume. The cover letter should highlight specific reasons why you would be a good fit for the position.
Tips for Writing a Good Cover Letter
- Address it to the person who will interview candidates, by name if possible.
- Match the font style and size to your resume.
- Keep your cover letter short (one page) and to the point.
- Make your cover letter "employer focused" rather than “job-seeker focused"; in other words, talk about how you can meet their needs, not how they can meet your needs.
- Prepare each cover letter individually; don’t use a form letter.
Cover Letter Template
Your Street Address
Your City, State ZIP Code
Your area code and phone number (optional)
Your email address (optional)
(1-4 blank lines, depending on length of letter)
Name of Recipient
Job Title of Recipient
City, State ZIP Code
Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. Last Name of Recipient (or, if name is unknown, job title of person most likely to receive documents):
Paragraph 1: Express your employment interest in the position for which you are applying and mention how you heard about the opening. State why you are interested in the position and what you can contribute to the organization. Offer at least one sincere compliment (from your company research) about what the organization is doing well that has motivated you to apply to the position and/or organization.
Paragraph 2: Provide a synopsis of your relevant education and experience. Do not simply list what is covered in your resume, but do convey to the employer that you have the appropriate training and education to support the position for which you are applying. In this paragraph, incorporate statements addressing the value you can bring to the hiring organization. Focus on the real needs of the employer as you explain why you are qualified for the position. Mention specific qualifications, experiences, or achievements that are pertinent to the position.
Paragraph 3: Refer the reader to an enclosed resume or application which summarizes your qualifications, training, and experience. You may also make the employer aware that your references and, if appropriate, portfolio/writing samples are available upon request. If the employer asks for salary requirements, either state that your salary requirements are commensurate with industry standards or provide a salary range and express that you are willing to negotiate. State what you will do next (such as calling to see if an interview can be arranged at the employer’s convenience). Thank the employer for their consideration.
(four blank lines and your signature)
Your Name Typed
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