The Cover Letter
A cover letter is an important business letter that accompanies your resume when it is mailed to
an employer. Its purpose is to introduce your resume and to give you an opportunity to exhibit
your personality and enthusiasm for job. An original cover letter should be created for each
A send, and is an important specific position accompanies your
resume youcover letter targeted to the business letter that and organization.resume when mailed to an
employer. Its purpose is to introduce your resume and to give you an opportunity to exhibit your
personality and enthusiasm for the position you seek. why you an writing; what your
Your cover letter should address four general areas:Therefore, areoriginal cover letter should be created
for each resume you offers; why you are interested in the position and
experience/educationsend, and targeted to the specific position/organization.organization; and what
you want to happen next. Write each letter to a specific person. If it takes a few phone calls to
There are three different types of cover letters, each corresponding to a distinct method of job-
information, make them. which is written is It May to a classified “Dear Sir/Madam”.
obtain this The first is an “invited” letterAvoid “To Whom responseConcern” and ad or job posting.
Another is the “uninvited” or “prospecting” letter. This type of letter would be sent to companies to
inquire about other types request interviews. A close relative of the uninvited letter is the “referral”
There are also positions andof business correspondence you might utilize as you conduct your job
letter, A thank you letter is an important follow-up to every personal meeting. A letter of
search. in which you prominently display the name of a person your addressee knows. This networking
tool is one of the most effective methods in gaining an advantage distinctive way, for
acceptance is the final step in your job search. Write each in aover your competition.its distinct
The information within this booklet contains a formula for composing cover letters, and some
samples tocorrespondence carefully. Use a natural, but professional tone, being concise and this
Prepare all give you ideas for formatting and style. There are many books in the Career Library on
topic and the following websites can be helpful.
sincere. Use standard business letter format, typed on high quality paper that matches your
resume paper (the font styles should also match). Be sure there are no spelling or grammatical
Make sure on cover letter is a reflection of found and adapt each to your
More detailed informationeachwriting cover letters can be “you”, in the Career Library, J-204, and
on the following websites: specific situwww.monster.com career search need.
ation and individual
Make sure each cover letter is a reflection of “you”, and adapt each to your
specific situation and individual career search need.
The Career Center
The Place for Career and Job Search Assistance
~ Career Counseling
~ On-Campus Employer Recruitment Interviews
~ Graduate and Professional School Information
~ Resume, Cover Letter, and Personal Statement Critiques
~ The Career Library: Resources for Career Development
~CareerConnect ~ Online Job Postings @ www.stockton.edu/careerconnect
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TIPS ON WAYS TO WRITE AN EFFECTIVE COVER LETTER
• Personalize the salutation – if necessary, call the company you are sending it to
and request the name and title of the person who is doing the hiring.
• Grab the reader’s attention in the first paragraph while mentioning the position in
which you are interested.
• Use the second paragraph to show a match between your background and the
requirements of the job. Use specific examples to sell your skills, telling the
employer what you can do for the organization rather than what it can do for you.
• Do not use the word “I” to start the letter or to start more than one paragraph in
the entire letter.
• Do not be afraid to inject your own personality into the cover letter, but do so
carefully. This letter should not be informal.
• Do not say anything negative about your employment situation or your life
• Gather information about the company from recent press articles, magazines, or
directories. Use this information in your cover letter to show you have done your
research and are interested in the company.
• Always express appreciation to the employer for considering your application.
• If you request an interview and tell the employer you will follow up to arrange it,
be sure to do so. This can be accomplished by keeping copies of all letters you
mail, fax or email along with a log of when they were sent.
• Make sure the letter is original, typed, error free, one page, laser printed on the
same high quality paper as your resume, and signed, boldly and confidently.
GENERAL OUTLINE FOR A COVER LETTER
Your Street Address
City, State, Zip
Use complete title Contact Name, Title
and address Employer
City, State, Zip
If possible, address it to a
particular person by name Salutation:
Opening Paragraph: State why you are writing, name the
position or type of work for which you are applying, and
Make the addressee want to mention how you heard of the opening or organization.
read your resume; be
personable and enthusiastic
Middle Paragraph(s): Explain why you are interested in
working for this employer and specify your reasons for
desiring this type of work. If you have had relevant work
experience or related education, be sure to point it out, but do
not reiterate your entire resume. Emphasize skills or abilities
you have that relate to the job for which you are applying. Be
Be brief and specific; your sure to do this in a confident manner and remember that the
resume contains details reader will view your letter of application as an example of
your writing skills.
Closing Paragraph: You may refer the reader to your
enclosed resume (which gives a summary of you
qualifications) or whatever media you are using to illustrate
your training, interests and experience. Have an appropriate
closing to pave the way for the interview by indicating the
action or steps you will take to initiate an interview.
Always sign letters Sincerely,
If a resume or other Your Name Typed
enclosure is used, note
in letter enclosure
Top and bottom margins
should be equal
Invited Style in Block Format*
702 Oaktree Terrace
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
September 1, 2003
Mr. John Janson
Human Resource Department
Miller Multiplex Corporation
8 Sumner Court
Haddonfield, NJ 08000
Dear Mr. Janson,
As I read your ad in the Gazette for an accountant, I knew immediately that I could offer exactly the
solid experience and skills you described.
While earning my bachelor’s degree in accounting at Richard Stockton College of NJ, I worked in the
financial accounting field full-time. In my present position, I not only have further developed my
management and technical skills, but greatly reduced the operating costs and time spent recording
routine financial accounting services.
I am convinced that I am particularly well suited to meet the challenges of your position and would like
to arrange a mutually convenient time for a personal interview. You may contact me at 609-630-999 or
via e-mail at email@example.com.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Very truly yours,
*The writer is responding to a classified ad in a specific publication. Note how she confidently states
that she possesses the necessary skills, and then supports the statement with facts.
Referral Letter in Block Format*
1245 Panhandle Lane, Apt. #3
Los Angeles, CA 90045
September 1, 2003
Mr. Steven Jones, Manager
2459 Palm Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Dear Mr. Jones,
A mutual business associate, Sally Smith, mentioned you had an opening in your Public Relations
Department and suggested that I forward my resume to you. Ms. Smith also said you were looking for
someone with excellent writing skills, public speaking experience and good interpersonal skills.
As a communications major, I have written numerous term papers over the past four years and have
consistently received excellent grades and comments on my writing style. I am also the feature editor of
my college newspaper. In terms of public speaking experience, as a campaign manager for two different
student government candidates, I have spoken in front of groups ranging from five to fifty people.
Additionally, I have worked as a volunteer organizing fundraisers for my college’s alumni association.
Subsequently, I look forward to meeting with you to discuss how I can serve your company in
increasing sales and market share. Please feel free to contact me at 212-555-1960 to arrange a mutually
convenient time for an interview.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Very truly yours,
* Note that the writer has used the name of the referring person in the first line to grab the reader’s
The second paragraph gives the reader a brief account of experience not typically listed in a resume.
This information is presented in the writer’s own unique style and not as statistical information.
Prospecting Letter in Modified Block Format*
859 Baldwin Avenue
Vineland, New Jersey 08360
September 1, 2003
Mr. Timothy Mellon
Director of College Recruiting
Northeast Mercantile Company
4500 20th Street
New York, New York 00731
Dear Mr. Mellon,
After reading your company’s description in Job Choices in Business magazine, I was prompted to
inquire about employment opportunities in your management training program. I want to work in retail
management and would like to relocate to the New York area after graduation.
I will receive my Bachelor of Science degree in Business this December. My interest in business
started in Junior Achievement while in high school and developed further through a variety of sales and
retail positions during college. My internship with a large department store convinced me to pursue a
career in retail. When I researched the top retailers in New York, your company emerged as having a
strong market position, an excellent training program, and a reputation for superb customer service. In
short, you provide the kind of professional retail environment I seek.
My resume is enclosed for your consideration. My education and experience match the qualifications
you seek in your trainees, but they don’t tell the entire story. I know from customer and supervisor
feedback that I have the interpersonal skills and motivation needed to build a successful career in retail
I shall call you during the week of January 24 to discuss employment possibilities. In the meantime, if
you need to contact me, my number is 609-691-0000. Please leave a message if I am not in, and I’ll
return your call the following day.
Thank you very much for considering my request. I look forward to talking with you.
Craig S. Watson
*The writer indicates his interest in a job and reveals the source of his information about the
company. He has outlined his strongest qualifications and demonstrated his sales and marketing
abilities throughout the letter.
In closing, the writer has suggested an action plan by requesting an interview and indicating that he
will call during a specific time period to discuss interview possibilities.
Sample Thank You Letter in Modified Block Format
2913 Baxter Rd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23465
July 29, 2004
Mr. Foster Walker
Director, Editorial Services
1220 Warwick Ave.
Newport News VA 23607
Dear Mr. Walker:
I want to thank you very much for meeting with me yesterday to discuss possible employment with
your company. I enjoyed meeting you and learning more about your publications and the associate
My enthusiasm for the job and my interest in working for Atlantic Publishing were strengthened as a
result of the interview. I think my education and internship experiences fit nicely with the job
requirements, and I am sure that I could make a significant contribution to the firm over time.
I want to reiterate my strong interest in the position and in working with you and your staff. You
provide the kind of opportunity I seek. Please feel free to contact me at 804/555-5555or
firstname.lastname@example.org if I can provide you with any additional information.
Again, thank you for the interview and your consideration.
Sample Acceptance Letter in Full Block Format
1507 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
July 29, 2004
Mr. Jack Wisniewski, Division Manager
Data International Corporation
1212 Corporation Lane
Northbrook, IL 60022
Dear Mr. Wisniewski:
I am writing to confirm my acceptance of your employment offer of April 20 and to tell you how
delighted I am to be joining Data International in Northbrook. The work is exactly what I have
prepared to perform and hoped to do. I feel confident that I can make a significant contribution to
the corporation, and I am grateful for the opportunity you have given me.
As we discussed, I will report to work at 8:00 a.m. on September 1 and will have completed the
medical examination and drug testing by the start date. Additionally, I shall complete all
employment and insurance forms for the new employee orientation.
I look forward to working with you and your fine team. I appreciate your confidence in me and am
very happy to be joining your staff.
Sample of Withdrawal Letter in Full Block Format
725 University Place, #321
Evanston, IL 60208
July 29, 2004
Melissa Lang, Ph.D.
The Northlight School of Performing Arts
8989 Wagner Rd.
Glenview, IL 60025
Dear Dr. Lang:
I am writing to inform you that I am withdrawing my application for the program coordinator
position with the school. As I indicated in my interview with you, I have been exploring several
employment possibilities. This week I was offered an administrative position with a local city
government and, after careful consideration, I decided to accept it. The position provides a very
good match for my interests at this point in my career.
I want to thank you very much for interviewing and considering me for your position. I enjoyed
meeting you and learning about the innovative community programs you are planning. You have a
fine school and I wish you and your staff well.