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Sample: Cover Letter

The cover letter introduces you to the prospective employer and should always be included when you mail your résumé. It should be unique and express your interest in both the company and the position for which you are applying. Never write a form letter to be duplicated and mailed. Address the cover letter to a specific person.

As with your résumé, do not cram too much information on a page. The recommended margin length is one inch or greater. Your cover letter and résumé should have the same font type and paper style. Do not fold or staple the cover letter with the résumé. Remember to proofread; mistakes are inexcusable. Keep a copy of all correspondence you send and receive during your job search for reference in follow-up conversations and interviews.

This sample letter would accompany the sample functional résumé. Salary information is provided, but should only be given at the employer's request. Normally, only the most recent salary would be listed, but in this case, the two most recent positions are listed to illustrate a more accurate salary history.

Your mailing address
Your phone number, including area code

Date letter is mailed

Name and title of a specific person
Company name
Mailing address

Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. Last Name, (If the person has a unisex first name, use his or her full name. For women, use Ms. unless you know they use the prefix Mrs.)

First Paragraph: In your initial paragraph, state the reason for the letter, the specific position or type of work for which you are applying, and indicate from which resource (placement center, news media, friend, employment service) you learned of the opening. Your first sentence should catch the reader's attention and reflect your interest in the company.

Second Paragraph: Indicate why you are interested in the position, the company, its products or services - above all, clearly state what you can do for the employer. If you are a recent graduate, explain how your academic background makes you a qualified candidate for the position. If you had some practical work experience, point out your specific achievements or unique qualifications. Try not to repeat the same information the reader will find in your résumé.

Final Paragraph: In the closing paragraph, refer the reader to the enclosed résumé or application which summarizes your qualifications, training, and experiences. Indicate your desire for a personal interview and your flexibility as to the time and place. If the job announcement requests no phone calls, repeat your phone number in the letter. If no such request is made, state that you will call on a certain date to set up an interview. Salary information should only be provided upon request.

Sincerely yours,

(Your Signature)

Your typed name


42 Blossom Drive
Wethersfield, CT 06109
(860) 555-5555

August 8, 2000

Chris Thompson
American Literature Monthly
55 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106

Dear Chris Thompson,

I understand that American Literature Monthly has nearly doubled its circulation in the past ten months. It is wonderful to know more people are exploring American Literature and broadening their horizons. I hope that I can be part of this phenomenal growth by filling the Assistant Writer position advertised in the Hartford Gazette.

I have recently graduated from Southern Connecticut State University, where I focused on American Literature. While attending, I had the good fortune to work as an intern for Name First, an advertising firm servicing local businesses. Utilizing my writing and computer skills, I created a variety of promotional materials and press releases to suit individual company's needs.

My knowledge of American Literature, along with my writing and marketing skills, would be an asset to American Literature Monthly. I would very much appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and discuss some of my ideas on the subject. At your request, I am providing my salary history. While working part-time at Quiet Corner Book Store, my annual salary is $11,400. Prior to that, I earned $54,300 while working full-time at Freeman & Reed Accounting Services. I have enclosed my résumé for your review and will telephone you on August 17th to set up a meeting.



Andrew Dragon


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