Three paragraphs of one-page cover letter.
- Opening. In business-like manner
- Refer to job listing: "I am writing to apply for the technician position
advertised in Jobtrack.
- Name mutual acquaintance: Professor Jane Smith, chair of the
physics department, told me your firm is looking for a physics major who
is interested in wireless communication."
- Refer to news item: "The March 26 Business First featured your plans
to open a laboratory in Columbus."
- Summarize your outstanding qualification: "A part-time job with
Bob Dixon, director of the Advanced Technology Group at OSU, has given
me some experience in installing and operating a wireless network on the
campus. I would like to use this practical experience by joining your
- Pose a question: "Would you need someone with wireless network
experience this summer for your laboratory? If so, please consider me
as a trainee for positions becoming available as the laboratory staff
- Middle. Having caught the reader's attention, present your
basic qualifications for the job. Select/emphasize key points in your
education, work experience and personal qualities. Use this chance to
differentiate yourself. For example,
- Feature your broad educational background or depth in a
- Highlight how education has prepared you for the sought job.
- Explain how electives, such as in electrical engineering or
computer science, reinforce/diversify your qualifications.
- Illustrate how you have supplemented academic training with
internship or part-time work experience.
- Provide examples that you can handle responsibility and
manage your time well.
- Describe desirable personal qualities, such as
responsibility, organizational skills.
- Closing. Last paragraph calls for action (without begging or
demanding). Ask for an interview and indicate you will follow-up. Make
this easy by providing a phone number and hours available; if you offer
an answering machine, make sure your recorded message is business-like.
Important Points for the Cover Letter
- Use regular business format; watch grammar and spelling.
- Be brief; keep to one page.
- Don't overuse "I."
- Provide evidence you are a good match for available position.
- Close letter with the action you will take: e.g., specific date you
will call to inquire about possibility of an interview.