The cover letter introduces you to an employer, provides an opportunity to state your objective, and supplements and clarifies your resume. You can tailor your cover letter to each employer by focusing on your interest in that particular firm and why your specific set of skills and background will benefit them. A good cover letter is focused on the needs of the employer. Cover letters should be clear and concise. Here are some tips for writing an effective letter:
Write an individual letter to each person to whom you send a resume.
Direct your letter to a specific person if possible.
Follow business letter format.
Use the same quality paper on which your resume is printed.
Make sure your letter is accurate, precise, and error-free. Flaws in a cover letter will often be interpreted as flaws in your qualifications.
First Paragraph: Introduce Yourself and What You Want
Name the specific position or type of work in which you are interested.
Briefly state your major and degree anticipated.
Indicate how you heard about the opening.
- If possible, convey why you are interested in the organization and anything you know about their product or service.
Sample Opening Paragraph Starters
- I was very pleased to learn about your opening for a position________________________.
- Please accept this letter and resume as an application for the position of advertised in_____________________ .
- I would like the opportunity to put my education and experience to work for your company. Please accept the enclosed resume as an application for this exciting position.
- (prospecting letter) Does your company anticipate the need for an? As a recent graduate of Dominican University of California with a Degree in, I am eager to apply my skills and experience in the field of______________. I am currently attending Dominican University and plan to complete my Degree in May, 2007.
Middle paragraph(s): Why You Are a Good Candidate and What can you do for the Employer
In one or two paragraphs, describe highlights from your background that would be of greatest interest to the organization.
Explain how your academic background, work history, and other skills and abilities qualify you for the job. Why should the employer hire you?
Point our specific achievements or unique qualifications.
Mention specific knowledge you may have (i.e., computer applications, foreign languages, lab techniques, writing/editing capabilities, etc).
If possible, demonstrate your knowledge of the industry/field.
Market yourself; convey enthusiasm.
Third Paragraph: Call to Action
Thank employer for consideration and repeat your interest in the position/company.
Express your willingness to provide additional information.
Indicate your desire for a personal interview.
Be pro-active; specify when you will be contacting them by phone.
Closing Paragraph Starters
- I am eager to learn more about the position and describe my qualifications to you.
- I would be delighted to speak with you in person about this position.
- I would be very pleased to discuss the position and my qualifications further with you.
- I look forward to having the opportunity to meet with you to discuss the position and my qualifications.
- I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you personally to discuss your needs and how I could contribute to your company’s success.
- Thank you for taking the time to review my resume.
- I’ll call you next week to see about the possibility of arranging an interview (meeting).
- I will call you next week to see when your schedule might permit a meeting (interview).
- I look forward to your reply.
- I look forward to hearing from you so that we can arrange a meeting.
Printable version: Cover Letter Writing and Samples