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Writing Your Cover Letter

What is a cover letter.

A cover letter is a document that serves as an introduction to your résumé and provides the reader with additional context about your skills and qualifications when considering your application. Not only does it reiterate your enthusiasm and qualifications for the opportunity, but it also serves as mini writing sample which can be extremely helpful when applying for a position that requires strong written communication skills.

Constructing A Cover Letter

Much like your position-specific résumé, a cover letter should be uniquely tailored for each opportunity you apply to. Researching the organization and position prior to writing your letter will provide helpful guidance on content to include and attributes to draw attention to. In addition, here are a few other general rules you should follow when formatting your cover letter.

Contact Section

There are two options for arranging the contact section on your cover letter: using formal business letter formatting or mirroring the contact section of your résumé.

1 . Formal business-style cover letters should follow a standard block format which aligns all text to the left margin and includes an outgoing address (your contact information), the date, an incoming address (your recipient’s contact information), followed by the salutation.

cover letter and resume sample pdf

2. If mirroring the contact section of your résumé, your contact information should be centered on the page (or however it appears on your résumé) with the date, recipient’s contact information, and salutation aligned to the left margin.

cover letter and resume sample pdf

Organizing Content

When constructing the body of your cover letter, the content should be separated into four main paragraphs based on the skills and/or experiences you wish to highlight to your reader. These paragraphs should be written without indentation and contain the sentiments outlined below.

Introduction Paragraph

  • Why are you writing this cover letter? Specifically mention the position and company to which you are applying
  • Make a connection with the reader by mentioning a common professional acquaintance, sharing the name of the company representative you spoke with at a career fair, or expressing how a certain aspect of the position or organization related to you personally
  • Conclude the paragraph with a statement that identifies the skills, knowledge, and/or experience(s) you plan to discuss in the next two paragraphs

Body Paragraphs

Focus on one skill or experience you want to write about in each paragraph, then make sure that each one…

  • Explains why you are a strong fit for the position and organization
  • Shows that you possess the skills/qualifications listed in the position description by providing specific examples of past work, internship, classroom, volunteer, or leadership experiences
  • Illustrates why/how your past experiences and skills can add value to the organization

Closing Paragraph

  • Thank the reader for reviewing your application materials
  • Reiterate your interest in the position/organization by referring to them by name
  • Express your willingness to follow up with more information if needed
  • Provide your phone number and email address for contact if your contact section does not mirror your résumé

Valediction (signature line)

  • Leave a paragraph space after your closing paragraph for your valediction; sentiments such as “Sincerely”, “Kind regards”, “With appreciation”, and “Respectfully” can all be used and should be followed with a comma
  • Leave at least two to three paragraph spaces between your valediction and your typed name to include a printed signature – even if you are not physically printing and signing the letter

Cover Letter Sample

cover letter and resume sample pdf

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Land the job with cover letter templates

Show hiring managers why you're the perfect job candidate with professional, customizable cover letter templates. find the perfect cover letter template for any industry or career path..

Cover letter template surrounded by 3D design elements

Download free cover letter templates

Stand out from other job applicants with free, professional cover letter templates. Cover letters are a perfect complement to your resume and provide an effective opportunity to show your personality and enthusiasm for a position. Focus on writing a compelling cover letter and let a professionally designed template do the rest.

These free cover letter templates are perfect for any stage of your career, whether you're looking to land an internship or your dream job. If you're applying for a corporate position, you may want to opt for a simple cover letter template. There are a variety of other cover letter designs available, from basic cover letter templates to creative cover letter templates.

Each of these cover letter templates is customizable in Word , so you can add your own text, change design elements, and more. Print out your cover letter or download it for free to use for online job applications. Once you've customized the perfect cover letter, explore resume templates that will match your cover letter design, or download free business cards for your next networking event.

IMAGES

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COMMENTS

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    28 Stanford Career Center RESUMES/COVER LETTERS TIPS FOR CREATING A SUCCESSFUL RESUME Do's • Do design your descriptions to focus on your accomplishments, using action verbs to clearly indicate the skills you've used . See Sample Action Verb list on the next page .

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  14. PDF CVs and Cover Letters

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  16. How To Write a Cover Letter (With Examples and Tips)

    Updated July 14, 2023 While cover letters are not always required, many hiring managers still rely on them to gauge an applicant's skills, experience and background. The key to writing an effective cover letter is to clearly show how your professional experience fits the needs of the open role and the culture of the hiring company.

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  22. Writing Your Cover Letter

    Constructing A Cover Letter. Much like your position-specific résumé, a cover letter should be uniquely tailored for each opportunity you apply to. Researching the organization and position prior to writing your letter will provide helpful guidance on content to include and attributes to draw attention to.

  23. Free cover letter templates to download and print

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  27. Human Resources (HR) Cover Letter Examples and Templates for 2024

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