Cover Letter Examples
Cover letters serve as the detailed part of you that can not be communicated on a resume.
They are used:
As a business description of you.
- To introduce you, your skills, your knowledge, and your experience to the potential employer.
- To get the potential employer interested enough that they want to interview you.
It is very important that these letters speak in your voice and
express the same sorts of ideas that you would express in an interview.
With that in mind, it is a must that you create your own cover letter.
If your letter is a general letter written by someone else on which you
have changed the appropriate phrases, it will be noticed should you get
an interview. There are several formats for cover letters, and there are
samples included here, but here are some things to remember as you
create your own.
Steps to a Good Letter
As you begin to work on a letter that will get responses, it is
helpful to work through a process of deciding what information should be
included and what style of letter that will mandate.
- What needs does the employer have that can be answered directly by my experience and talents?
- What sorts of things will come across as an advantage to the person responsible for hiring?
- What skills do I have that are applicable to the job that I'm applying for that I can highlight in my letter?
- What type or style of letter will best deliver the information that I gathered in the first 3 questions?
By following the 4-step process, writing a cover letter should come to you with a great deal more ease.
Format of a Cover Letter
Your cover letter should include the following:
- An introductory paragraph that introduces the applicant to the
reader. In your initial paragraph, state the reason for the letter, the
specific position or type of work for which you are applying, and
indicate how you learned about the opening (from the Student Employment
Services Center, from the local newspaper, from an Internet source...)
- Your body paragraphs should indicate why you are interested in
the position, why you are interested in the company, and what you can do
for the employer. If you are a recent graduate with very little
experience, it sometimes helps to emphasize your academic preparation
and how it relates to the position. This section of the letter refers
the reader to the enclosed resume which summarizes your qualifications,
training, experiences, and any other information that may help you to
land the job. You may want to highlight those things from your resume
which are particularly relevant, although you do not want to re-write
your resume in the text of your cover letter. Never send a resume
without sending a cover letter directed to the employer with whom you
- In the final paragraph, indicate your desire for a personal
interview, and when you would be available to interview (do not limit
yourself to specific times, but let the employer know how flexible you
are). You should close the letter with a statement that indicates that
your hope for a response. You may also tell the employer that you will
call and when, if you are comfortable with this approach.
After having a workable, typewritten first draft, it is important
that you proofread, edit, and proofread again. Some employers even
circle misspellings or typos as they read so that anyone else who is a
part of the selection process will not miss the errors. A second opinion
is often helpful--you may ask a friend or a relative to read the letter
and to offer some constructive feedback. After your first perfect
letter is written, it can be referred to for well-written phrases,
sentences, and paragraphs that can be used again in future letters. Each
letter will be easier to write than the last.
Building a good cover letter is a developmental process and should
not be viewed as a quick, one-time deal. The completed cover letter
should give you a true sense of satisfaction in the knowledge that you
have put enough time and energy in its creation to give it the best
chance of success in getting responses.
Cover Letter FormatCover Letter Example 1Cover Letter Example 2