Cover Letter Writing Guidelines and Templates
Career Development Handbook
Good letter writing techniques are as important to your job search as an effective resume. This is usually the first correspondence you have with a potential employer and it should always be accompanied by your resume. Use your cover letter to sell your unique abilities and to highlight a few outstanding and relevant accomplishments.For help getting started, watch this Webinar.
The basic layout and what to include
City, State, Zip
Name of Recipient (include Mr. or Ms.)
Name of Company
City, State, Zip
Dear Mr. (or) Ms. ______________,
Paragraph One – “Why I’m Writing”
- Use a “Grabber” Statement/Why you are the best candidate for the position
- State your interest and purpose for writing to the company.
- Reference the name of the publication/web site if you are responding to a classified ad.
- Avoid canned phrases, i.e. “Please find enclosed my resume for the position of –.”
- Never begin a paragraph with “I”.
- Example: “As an MBA candidate with 5 years experience in finance and project management, I am very interested in …… position as advertised in………”
Paragraph(s) Two (& Three) – “How I’m Qualified” & “Why I’m Right for this Job/Co.”
- Use accomplishment statements (and specific examples) and link them to the employer’s needs.
- Don’t emphasize your desires, focus on how you can contribute to this company with your past experience and education.
- Use terms that the employer uses in the advertisement or that are industry specific.
- Focus on the company, show interest in their products or services and exactly how you will make an immediate contribution.
- Never begin a paragraph with “I” and use as a mid-paragraph sentence-start sparingly.
- Never use bullets in your cover letter, these are reserved for your resume.
Final Paragraph – “What I’ll Do to Follow Through”
- Briefly restate interest/key qualifications.
- Take the initiative and state when you will follow up this letter with a phone call.
- Let them know they are free to contact you in the mean time.
- Thank them for their time and consideration.
Type Your Full Name