This website works best with a current browser. Update your browser from

Career Development Office

<< Back to Home

Cover Letter Outline

Your Current Address
City, State Zip Code
Date of Letter
(Begins approximately 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 inches from top. You could also choose to create your own letterhead on a laser printer or have the letterhead professionally printed.)

  (Vary the amount of blank space here in order to position the body of the letter on the page.)
Person's Name, Title
Organization Name
Street Address
City, State Zip Code
(Use the same address that will be on the envelope.)

Dear Ms. or Mr. [last name]:

Opening Paragraph - Tell why you are writing; name the position, field, or type of work for which you are applying; mention how you heard about the opening or organization. Try to get the reader's attention.

Middle Paragraph (or two) - Describe your most important qualifications in relationship to the position, field, or organization for which you wish to be considered. Explain why you are interested in working for this employer, and specify your reasons for desiring this type of work. Emphasize skills or abilities you have that relate to the job for which you are applying.

Refer the reader to your enclosed resume, but do not simply repeat the facts on the resume. Instead, interpret the facts on the resume from the employer's point-of-view. Help the reader see between the lines and draw conclusions. Be personable and enthusiastic; be brief but specific. Remember that the reader will view your letter as an example of your writing skills.

Closing Paragraph - Use this paragraph to discuss what comes next. If references have been requested and the CDO has or will send your file, mention that fact. You can request an application or make yourself available for an interview. You can also make a specific request for an interview and indicate that you will phone after a specific amount of time to see if an interview can be arranged. Whichever approach you use, be sure that whatever action you are requesting of the reader is clear. Finally, thank the reader for his/her consideration.

[Your Handwritten Signature]
(Leave approximately 4 blank lines for your signature.)

Your Typewritten Name

(Be sure you have referred to the enclosures in the body of the letter.)

Page modified 12/7/15