A cover letter accompanies your resume and introduces you to the employer. In the letter, explain where you learned about the job, tell why you are interested, and highlight what parts of your background make you most qualified for the position. You also can include specific information about how you can be contacted in case the employer would like to interview you. A bad cover letter can tempt the employer to put aside your resume without even reading it.

Most important, your cover letter should not have any spelling or grammatical mistakes. Strong cover letters refer to past experience using action verbs and identify specific accomplishments that will be of most interest to the employer.


Guidelines for Application (Cover) Letter


Your Present Address
 City, State, Zip Code
      Date of Letter

Individual's Name
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code


Dear ____________________: (Use Mr./Ms. and last name only)

FIRST PARAGRAPH. Indicate the reason for writing, the specific position or type of work for which you are applying, and how you learned of the opening (placement center, news media, friend, employment service).

SECOND PARAGRAPH (most important paragraph). Explain why you are interested in the position, the organization, its products or services, and what you can do for the employer. If a recent graduate, explain how your academic background qualifies you for the position. If you have some practical work experience, point out specific achievements or unique qualifications. Do not repeat word for word the same information in your resume.

THIRD PARAGRAPH. Refer the reader to the enclosed resume, which summarizes your qualifications, training, and experience. NOTE: Paragraphs two and three can be combined if very short.

FINAL PARAGRAPH. Indicate your desire for an interview. You can suggest possible dates and times, especially if you plan to be in that city, or mention that you are flexible about scheduling. Repeat your phone number in the letter and offer any assistance for a speedy response. If you are depending on a phone relay, it is a good idea to explain how this works to a hearing employer. Close your letter with a statement or question that will encourage a response; for example, mention that you will call on a certain date to see about setting up an interview. Or, ask if the company will be recruiting in your area or if the employer desires additional information or reference.


Sincerely yours,

Your Signature

Your typed name


Enclosure (Indicates that resume, application, etc., are enclosed.)



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Career Center