Cover Letter Guidelines
Your street address
City, State, Zip Code
Month, Day, Year
Name of person you are writing
Title of person you are writing
Name of Organization
Street Address City
State, Zip Code
In your first paragraph, state 1) why you are writing including the specific position or type of work for which you are applying; 2) how you heard about the position/organization (i.e. Career Center, friend, position advertisement); and 3) why you are interested in the position/organization (research on the company will help here).
In the second paragraph, relate your skills/qualifications to their needs. This is easier when responding to an advertisement where the qualifications are listed. Research the company to identify their needs and goals. If you are not responding to a position announcement, try to anticipate their needs based on your knowledge of the career field and organization based on your research. Choose 2-3 skills or experiences that you want to highlight. State the skill, relate how you developed it or give an example from your resume, and then state how that skill/experience will benefit the employer/position. You may also explain how your academic background has prepared you for the position. Avoid reiterating everything on your resume.
In your closing paragraph, refer the reader to your resume if you haven't already done so. Next, state your action plan--what is your next step (ex: I will contact you the week of June 20 to ensure that my resume has been received)*. You might want to include your phone number where they can contact you if they need further information. Thank the reader for considering your candidacy.
Your Name (typed)
*Be sure to do as you state in your letter--call for an interview, send credentials, etc. YOU MUST TAKE THE INITIATIVE TO FOLLOW UP AND KEEP YOUR NAME IN THE EMPLOYER'S MIND. Do not expect to be remembered or telephoned when there is an opening.
Use 12 or 11 point font and print your letter on the same paper as your resume