Writing a Cover Letter

Be sure to include a cover letter with your résumé when you apply for a job. This page will help you write a strong cover letter and provide you with tips, examples, and templates to help you get closer to the job you’re looking for.

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a formal letter that accompanies your résumé. Use it to introduce yourself to potential employers, and to convince them that you’re the right person for the job.
Your cover letter doesn’t simply re-state your résumé—it offers some new information, and it highlights the skills you have that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Important information to include in your cover letter
The three main objectives of your cover letter are to:
  1. introduce yourself, identify the position you are applying for, and explain how you found out about the position
  2. explain how you are qualified for the position and why you would be a great fit for the job
  3. request an interview and thank the employer

Sample cover letters

Although the basics of a cover letter remain the same, the information you include in your cover letter may change, depending on whether or not the job is advertised.

Advertised job

In your cover letter for an advertised job, mention how you heard about the position—whether you heard from a job posting, a newspaper article, or from someone in your network of contacts.
Identify the position you’re interested in. If there’s a competition or job number, include it in your cover letter.
Review the qualifications or job description and describe why you would be a good fit for the job, based on your skills and experience.

Unadvertised job

When writing a cover letter for an unadvertised job, introduce yourself and explain why you are interested in working for the company and how you came to hear about it.
Use your cover letter as an opportunity to pique the employer’s interest in you as a potential interviewee, and to request an opportunity to discuss potential employment opportunities or the possibility of an informational interview.

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