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Template to Use When Writing a Cover Letter

By Alison Doyle, About.com Guide

The first section of your cover letter should include information on how the employer can contact you. If you have contact information for the employer, include that. Otherwise, just list your information.

Your Contact Information
Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address

Date

Employer Contact Information
Name
Title
Company
Address
City, State, Zip Code

Salutation

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

Body of Cover Letter

The body of your cover letter lets the employer know what position you are applying for, why the employer should select you for an interview, and how you will follow-up.

First Paragraph:
The first paragraph of your letter should include information on why you are writing. Mention the position you are applying for. Include the name of a mutual contact, if you have one. Be clear and concise regarding your request. Convince the reader that they should grant the interview or appointment you requested in the first paragraph.

Middle Paragraphs:
The next section of your cover letter should describe what you have to offer the employer. Make strong connections between your abilities and their needs. Mention specifically how your skills and experience match the job you are applying for. Remember, you are interpreting your resume, not repeating it. Try to support each statement you make with a piece of evidence. Use several shorter paragraphs or bullets rather than one large block of text.

Final Paragraph:
Conclude your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering you for the position. Include information on how you will follow-up. State that you will do so and indicate when (one week's time is typical). You may want to reduce the time between sending out your resume and follow up if you fax or e-mail it.

Complimentary Close:

Respectfully yours,

Signature:

Handwritten Signature (for a mailed letter)

Typed Signature