Writing a Cover Letter

A good cover letter is a must. Let prospective employers know why you would like the job and call attention to your qualifications. Your cover letter should have three to four short paragraphs; the ultimate goal is getting the reader to look at your resume. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  1. Heading
    • Your name and address at the top
    • Date
    • Address of business using hiring manager's name and title
    • Use a greeting to open the letter. You should make every attempt to have a personal contact (i.e., a name), but if you can't, use "Dear Sir or Madam"
  2. Opening
    • State how you found out about the open position
    • Communicate that you are interested and qualified for the position
    • Express why you want the job
  3. Body
    • Make a connection between the requirements for the position and your past experiences
    • Give specific examples of your past experiences
    • Refer to your resume and/or explain your resume in greater detail
  4. Closing
    • Ask for an interview
    • Thank employer for their consideration
  5. Signature
    • Close with "Sincerely"
    • Type your name
    • Sign your name – in pen

Sample Cover Letter Structure

Your Street Address
City, State Zip Code
Telephone Number
Email Address

Month, Day, Year

Mr./Ms./Dr. FirstName LastName
Title
Name of Organization
Street or P. O. Box Address
City, State Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. LastName: