Cover Letter Tips, Samples & Templates

EXAMPLE COVER LETTER FORMATS

  1. These letters are meant as a guide only, do not use them verbatim as your own work.  Use then as a starting point to inspire your own letter.
  2. The highlighted elements of these letters are meant to feature the importance of personalizing the letter.  Be sure to clear this formatting before sending to an employer.
  3. There are 2 letter templates below:
    1. Generic Position: Letter of Introduction
    2. Specific Position: Letter of Introduction

EXAMPLE COVER LETTER CONTENT

(Numbered below by paragraphs to include in the letter.)

  1. Greeting/Introduction and notification of why they (the reader) are reading your cover letter. The “why” should include detailed information on the position you wish to obtain.
    1. If you have been referred by another person, include that reference here as well.
  2. (Could be 1-2 paragraphs in length) Write about your qualifications, accomplishments and reasons why you would be an asset to the company.
    1. Provide examples you have to offer.
    2. Integrate research you have done on the company and how this matches your career aspirations.
  3. Mention any enclosed/attached documents such as your resume. Thank the employer for their time, set action items such as future correspondence, or an invitation/timeline.

COVER LETTER TIPS

(These tips come directly from employer testimonials)

  1. Check it out. Be sure to proofread! Check for spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes. Did you spell the contact person's name correctly? Proofread! Proofread! Proofread! Doing so makes the difference between your resume going from the "rejection" pile to the "interview" pile.
  2. Tailor your letter. Match the employer’s needs to the skills you mention in your letter. For example: if the employer states that they rely heavily on their reputation for completing a job on time, highlight your scheduling skills. Do not use the same letter for each potential employer, changing only their contact information.
  3. Less is more. Avoid run-on sentences which give too much detail. This shows the employer you are efficient and well-organized.
  4. Dig deep. Be sure to research the employer before writing the letter so that you can include specific key words and phrases. This helps in Tip 2 as well.
  5. Professionalism is key. Be sure to use professional, non-slang terms in your letter. Avoid joking, sarcasm or other means of humor which employers may find unprofessional and improper for a first impression.
  6. Get personal. When addressing the employer, be sure to obtain a name and title to use. Try not to use the “To Whom It May Concern” approach.
    1. How can you find this information?
      i. Call the company and ask the receptionist.
      ii. Search the company website.
      iii. Ask people in your network for information.
  7. Don’t repeat. Your cover letter should motivate the employer to view your resume. Your cover letter should not say what your resume already does. This takes away from the purpose of the cover letter, which is to get the employer excited and impress them with your knowledge and skills.
  8. Short and sweet. Keep your cover letter to one page. Keep in mind Tip 3 and wow the employer with your ability to be efficient and concise.