Cover Letters

If you are applying for a job that requires you to submit a resume, you should include a cover letter with your resume and application.

The purpose of the cover letter is to:

  • introduce yourself to the employer;
  • indicate which position you are applying for;
  • explain why you are interested in that specific position;
  • direct their attention toward information on your resume that is of particular relevance to the position.

The following information can help you develop a cover letter that will impress any employer. Here is the guidelines for writing cover letters for the job.

Guidelines for writing cover letters:

  • Do your homework! Modify your letter to fit the company and their needs. Include any information appropriate to the job you are applying for.
  • Show concern, interest, and pride for your profession and your skills.
  • State briefly what is enclosed. If there are several items, list them. Keep the letter simple and to the point. Tell the truth. Don't try to be overly friendly, but don't be too remote either.
  • Include your telephone number or numbers where you can be contacted. When writing the letter, address the person you are sending it to, not to a title.
  • Indicate any response you are expecting from the company. Ask for the next step, such as an interview or some other meeting.
  • Cover letters that are sent to job search firms or employment agencies should include your current or expected salary if requested and note if you are willing to relocate.
  • Add relay information if you are deaf/ hard-of-hearing and your prospective employer is hearing. Be sure to briefly explain how to use the relay service.


Helpful words you can use: Click on each word to get definitions and examples from WordNet 1.6 Vocabulary Helper.

Achieved Advised Assigned Assisted
Budgeted Classified Composed Conducted
Contributed Controlled Coordinated Counseled
Created Designed Developed Drafted
Edited Facilitated Founded Guided
Improved Increased Interviewed Introduced
Lectured Led Maintained Managed
Mediated Organized Performed Planned
Prepared Presented Processed Produced
Programmed Provided Recruited Researched
Scheduled Supervised Taught Trained
Translated Traveled Upgraded Worked


Sample of cover letter to a newspaper advertisement for a summer job:

Your name
139 Central Park Avenue - Anytown, NY 20000
(111) 111-1111

7 March 2009

Patrick Straub
Personnel Manager
XYZ Company
445 N. 45th St.
New York, NY 60045

Dear Mr. Straub:

I was excited to see your advertisement for a summer intern. An internship with your company would be a perfect opportunity to develop my skills as a _______ major at _________ University.

My professional capabilities would make me an asset to your company. For example, my experience with _________ adequately prepares me to ________ for XYZ this summer. 

I would greatly benefit from working with knowledgeable professionals in my field of study, and working for XYZ would provide such an opportunity.

I would love to be part of your team. I am available to meet with you at your earliest convenience. You can contact me at the address and phone number above, or at

Thank you for your consideration.


Your Signature

Your typed name

Resume included



  • Sourced by Janel Muyesseroglu
  • Selected verbs from: Yate, M. (1997) Cover Letters That Knock'em Dead. Holbrook, Massachusetts: Adams Media Corporation.

Updated August 18, 2015
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