Cover Letter Instructions, Template and Sample

These are some helpful questions to ask about your cover letter before submitting your job application:

  • Does your cover letter enhance your job search packet?
  • Is your cover letter an effective marketing tool by itself?
  • Is your cover letter customized to the job you are applying to?
  • Is your cover letter the same paper stock and follow the same heading format as your resume?
  • Is your cover letter addressed to an individual, and is the name spelled correctly? (When in doubt, call and ask for the correct spelling of the recipient's name.)

Cover Letter Template

West Sacramento, CA 95691


Professional Title
City, State, Zip

Dear (address this to the PERSON or the selection/search committee that will be reading the letter; make a phone call or check the organization's website to get a name and the correct spelling. If you can’t identify a specific person use “Selection Committee” or “Search Committee”).

First section – State why you are writing, give the name of the position or type of work for which you are applying and why you are interested in the organization and/or position.

Second section –Show how you are a “good fit” for this job/organization and how you can contribute. Describe your specific skills, accomplishments and personal traits that qualify you for this position or field. Write about what skills you can bring to the organization, not what the organization can do for you. Refer to your education, training and previous experiences that apply to this position. If this paragraph gets too lengthy, break it into two paragraphs. This section should answer the question "Why should we hire you?"

Third section – Thank the organization for considering your application and create an appropriate statement regarding the next action step, such as an interview or a telephone follow-up. Mention any enclosures. Keep this section short.


Dimitrius Rutland

Dimitrius Rutland

Enclosure: resume

Cover Letter Sample

Anytown, CA, 00000, 310-555-1212,

October 13, 2017

Ms. Tamara Writer
Senior Editor
Animal Publications
555 Bookbinder Road
Anytown, CA 00000

Dear Ms. Writer:

Your advertisement in the Northern California Gazette for an Editorial Assistant caught my eye. My former advisor, Dr. Norman Mammal, of the Biology Department at the University of California, Davis, enthusiastically promoted your company to me as highly respected in the animal behavior publications field and I am excited about the possibility of joining your team.

For the past three years I have worked as an editorial assistant for the Northern Wildlife Magazine in San Francisco, I proofed text before it went into the magazine, wrote short contributions to two regular magazine departments, and developed feature stories for the e-magazine. I also edited various peripheral materials including marketing brochures. My work at the magazine, combined with my degree in animal science, has provided me with extensive knowledge of the animal and scientific worlds.

The possibility of working for Animal Publications as an editorial assistant is very exciting and I believe I would be an immediate contributor to your team. I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you further about my background and to share my professional portfolio. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Carol Puma

Carol Puma

Enclosure: Resume