How to Write and Format a Cover Letter

Your present address
City, State, Zip Code 
Date of Writing (4 paragraph returns)

Specific Name of Recruiter
Their Title
Company/Organization
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mr. or Ms.________:

Opening Paragraph -- Tell why you are writing, naming the position, field or general area of work about which you are asking. Mention how you learned of the opening or the organization.

Second Paragraph -- Talk about your qualifications as they relate to the position for which you are applying. Do not directly repeat information from your resume: do not list jobs. The key word is skills. Cite your work experience, educational preparation, activities and skills which qualify you for the position and would make you an asset to this company/organization. Indicate why you should be considered as a candidate, focusing upon how your skills can fulfill needs of the organization. Mention specific results or achievements. This is the key paragraph; the one that can distinguish you from the next candidate.

Optional Third Paragraph -- Have at least one sentence explaining why you are interested in this company/organization. What makes it special? What attraction does it hold for you? How does the company's mission support your career growth?

Closing Paragraph -- Close by making a specific request. Usually this means a request for an interview. State when you will be available and how you can be reached. Also point out that additional information concerning your background and interests will gladly be furnished upon request. Thank the employer for her/his time and consideration.

Sincerely,

(4 paragraph returns to leave room for your handwritten signature)

Your Typed Name

*NOTE: if you are submitting a cover letter electronically (ie through MyCRC), you only need to leave a double-space between your closing and typed name. Do not replace what would have been a handwritten signature with your name in a scroll-type font; your signature is implied when you are submitting letters online or via e-mail.

REMEMBER: Unless otherwise specified by the employer, never send a resume without a cover letter!