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How to Write a Cover Letter

You have researched the job market, you have met the right people, and now you are ready to write that one little letter that introduces you to the world of employers ready to hire. The cover letter is generally a one page letter to companies telling them of your interest in the available job, why you want the job, why you are the best qualified candidate for the job, and how the employer can contact you. Many people slave over these one page "introductions," and others just throw them together. Some people will say that they matter little next to your resume and connections, still others say it is the single most important element of your entire job application.

In order to write an effective cover letter, follow these steps below:

  • Write a general cover letter (see sample below)
  • Amass a list of at least ten different companies/job applications
  • Research the companies
  • Find specific names and departments within the companies
  • Fill in the blanks and personalize each cover letter for each individual company
  • Double check each cover letter to make sure you have not confused names and places
  • Edit and review the letter numerous times. Allow someone else to proofread the letter, as well. There is nothing worse than a cover letter with typos and grammatical errors.
  • Print the cover letter on quality cotton paper
  • Sign the cover letter with a neat, succinct, legible signature. (As a superstition to many people look at handwriting as an analysis to a person's work ethic).
  • Place the cover letter on top of the resume and in a printed envelope, and mail it.

It is imperative that your cover letter covers your breadth of experience and desire to follow a successful career. Remember, your resume lists all your accomplishments. You do not want your cover letter to do the same. It will be just a repeated laundry list of your resume in prose format and an employer will disgard it quite easily. Your cover letter is the only chance you have to express your personality and yourself without personal contact. If you want a company to get to know you, then let it come through in the one page summary. Nobody says these are easy cover letters to write. They are like mini-admissions essays. However, they complete your job application and are essential components to securing that post-college job.

According to cover letter protocol, a sample letter follows in guided format below.


Dear Ms. Interviewer:

My name is I. Wanna Job and I am writing to submit my resume for the position of consultant as advertised in your recent internet posting.

As you can see from my enclosed resume, I have extensive training in the field of consulting. I worked at ABC Company for three years as their junior computer consultant. I went on to supervise several projects in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, eventually rising to direct the project entirely. Add more information about previous jobs in a succinct fashion.

I hold a BA in Marketing from ABC University and an MBA from ABC University. Discuss your education and any awards or honors.

I would be happy to come in and discuss this position in greater detail with you. Please contact me at any time at 555-555-5555. I look forward to speaking with you soon.


I. Wanna Job

While your cover letter will go into greater detail, it is important to be short and to the point. Employers do not want to read superfluous manuscripts when looking to fill a single spot. Get your message across in as little a space as possible.