Write an Effective Cover Letter
Updated: Apr 26, 2021
Cover Letter Template
Employer Contact Information
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr. /Ms. Last Name (if there is no name available use “Hiring Manager” or “Greetings”),
The first paragraph of your letter should clearly articulate that you are enthusiastically interested in the position. Specifically mention the name of the position for which you are applying. Include the name of a mutual contact, if you have one.
The next section of your cover letter should describe what you have to offer the employer and should make the case that your skills and experience match the job for which you are applying. Start with an introductory sentence or two, then three bullets outlining specific experience, abilities and skills that are relevant to the position. Remember: you are interpreting your resume, not repeating it. Convince the reader that they should grant the interview or appointment you requested.
Conclude your cover letter by re-stating your interest in the position and thanking the employer for considering you for the position. Write that you will be happy to follow up within the week (and then mark your calendar to remind yourself to do so!).
“Thank you for your consideration” or “Sincerely”
Use an actual, handwritten signature for a mailed letter, or type your name if you are submitting the letter electronically.
Parts of a Cover Letter or Letter of Inquiry
A Cover Letter or a Letter of Inquiry is a one-page document (or email) that clearly articulates your interest in a position—and most importantly—outlines your specific experience and skills that relate to this position! This letter should communicate, “I’m exactly what you are looking for, and here’s why!”
First Paragraph: The Purpose
The name of the position
Where you found out about it (website or personal referral)
Indicate why you are interested in the position and/or the company
Show evidence of research about the company/organization
Middle Paragraph: The Proof (This is the most important paragraph!)
Cite specific skills that the organization is looking for
Cite specific accomplishments relevant to the job description
Highlight any unique skills, experience and background which might not appear on your resume (projects, coursework, collaborations)
Do not repeat what is already on your resume; re-interpret!
Last Paragraph: The Close
Acknowledge what is enclosed (resume, writing samples, references only if requested)
Indicate your interest in an interview or phone discussion about the position
Specify when you will follow-up with a phone call or email (but then you have to do it!)
Thank the person for their consideration of you and this request