Cover Letter Sample for a Resume
Do you need to write a cover letter for a job? You may feel as though the document is unnecessary since you already provide a resume with plenty of information. Not so! A cover letter serves an important purpose: it presents your case for why you should be hired. Your cover letter is where you can show your passion for the position or company, and highlight relevant qualifications.
Many employers require cover letters as part of the job application process.
However, even when an employer does not explicitly ask for a cover letter, you should send one. A strong cover letter can make your application stand out.
Read below for an example of a cover letter to send with a resume, plus tips for writing and sending a cover letter. Use the sample as a guide when you write your cover letter, remembering to tailor all the information to your own experiences and the specific position and company. Here are some cover letter tips.
Do Send a Cover Letter
Even when an employer does not directly ask for one, be sure to always to send a cover letter. The only time you do not want to send a letter is when a job listing explicitly says not to send one. In that situation, it's more important to follow the directions on the job listing.
Customize Each Letter
It might seem tedious, be it is important to customize each letter to fit the specific job you for which you are applying.
It will make your letter stand out.
Highlight Relevant Qualifications
In your cover letter, address one or two skills or qualifications you have that match the job description. Provide a specific example of a time you demonstrated each of these qualifications.
You can use your cover letter to go into detail about something in your resume that needs explaining.
For example, a cover letter is a great place to talk about a career shift or to explain an extended gap in employment.
Read Samples and Templates
For help writing your cover letter, read samples like the one below, as well as cover letter templates. Remember to tailor any example or template to fit your own experiences and the job for which you are applying.
Edit, Edit, Edit
Be sure to thoroughly proofread each cover letter before sending it, looking for grammar and spelling errors. Consider asking a friend or family member, or even a career counselor, to read over your cover letter.
Sample Cover Letter for a Resume
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:
I am interested in the author's assistant position at ABC Company, as advertised in XXX. I am currently employed as legislative director for Assemblywoman XXXX, Chairperson of the NYS Assembly. I believe that the skills and experiences I have gained at this position make me an ideal candidate for the job of author’s assistant.
As legislative director, I have developed strong writing and editing skills. For example, one of my main duties is to prepare Assemblywoman XXXX’s personal legislation, which deals with issues related to her position as Senior Member of the NYS Assembly Standing Committee.
This duty requires meticulous writing and editing skills, and an ability to convey complex legal ideas clearly. I have prepared dozens of pieces of legislation and received praise for the clarity of my writing.
I have also gained extensive experience in legal and policy research – fields that you state the author’s assistant must be familiar with. My experience in the NYS Assembly has afforded me the opportunity to become familiar with the consolidated and unconsolidated laws of the State of New York. In particular, through my work with Assemblywoman XXXX, I have become heavily involved in the current welfare and Medicaid reform movement. I am always eager to learn more about state legislation, reading up on these topics on my own time to become more knowledgeable. I would love to bring this passion for policy and law to your company.
I am confident that my experience in the Legislature and my research and writing skills qualify me for consideration. If you would like, I can provide you with current samples of my work. I have also enclosed my resume. I look forward to meeting with you and discussing my qualifications in more detail.
Signature (hard copy letter)
Sending an Email Cover Letter
If you're sending your cover letter via email, list your name and the job title in the subject line of the email message. Include your contact information in your email signature, but don't list the employer's contact information. Skip the date, and start your email message with the salutation.
Too often the covering letter is a job seeker's Achilles' Heel. That's because the candidate has often lavished hours on crafting their CV to make it as perfect as they can, only to produce the covering letter as an afterthought. The thinking behind this is that the CV will do all the hard work for you and the covering letter will just play a supporting role. Wrong.
Let's begin with probably the most common error I see time and time again. The covering letter that goes something like this:
Dear Mr Matthews,
I wish to apply for the (job title) vacancy, as advertised in (publication, date). Please find enclosed my CV, which I hope you will study with interest. If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me. Yours faithfully, Steve Szita
This is all very nice — it's a clear and polite statement of intent. But why waste a entire sheet of A4 just to inform the employer you are applying and have attached your CV? In today's extremely competitive job market, employers don't have to waste time on those who are just going to state the obvious and not use an opportunity to highlight their skills and strengths.
Perhaps its name tag "the covering letter" is the root of this problem? Indeed, to many, this name might suggest it's not very important, that it's just a note, merely attached to the all-powerful CV for a bit of casual clarification. Whatever the excuse, it's no longer the way to go.
With the current CV mantra being "stick to two sides of A4", space is at a premium. So, if you're going to add a third page in the shape of a covering letter, make sure it justifies its existence, seizes the recruiter's attention and keeps them reading.
One thing that is paramount when it comes to your CV and covering letter is that they should work together and complement each other. The covering letter should draw attention to your key skills relevant to the job and then the CV should expand on them. Very often, people make the mistake of writing the two in isolation.
From your covering letter, the employer wants to know:
Who you are and what job you want
Begin with a clear indication of the job you're applying for and where you heard about it. If you have the name of a direct contact or referral, this is the place to mention it. Dropping a familiar name is going to be an effective way of catching someone's eye.
What relevant skills you have and how you'll apply them
In paragraphs two (and three, if needed), you should then outline key aspects of the job and make direct comparisons with skills and experience you have. "I see that this role demands the ability to reduce costs. As commercial manager at XYZ Ltd. I made real savings of almost 20% (£100,000) in my first full year" — for example.
That you really understand what's required of you
Ensure you focus on the most important aspects of the role and make sure you relate them directly to recent and relevant experience. Remember, though this is your individual application for the job, do not attempt to write an application letter directly from the job advert.
If you have any additional skills over and above the job advert
In the next paragraph add any supporting information you feel is necessary, such as applied aspects of the role or what additional skills you can bring over and above the job specification.
Have a positive and professional attitude
Ensure your tone is confident and positive but don't overdo it otherwise you may come across as arrogant or pushy. Remember you're trying to get an interview, so you want to come across as a personable individual. Here's a positive example:
Dear Mr Matthews,
I wish to apply for the post of accounts manager as advertised in the November issue of People Management. As you can see from my enclosed CV, I have more than 15 years experience in company accounts, the last six of which have been in management roles. Together with my professional qualifications, proven track record and desire to advance further, I feel I am more than ready for the challenges your position offers.
Have taken time to get to know their business
Try to find out the name of the person responsible for recruiting the role and some key company information can also show that you've done your homework.
I understand from your recent annual report (2009) that you have rapidly developed your operations across the European Union. Having spent the best part of a decade working in different EU countries, I am very experienced in the various working methods of each member state.
Are concise, businesslike and to the point
Make sure your cover letter does not exceed one page. It should really only be about four or five paragraphs. It should also be in the same font and the same point size as your CV.
That you really, really want this job
Finally, you should sum up. Reaffirm you interest in the role, the company and the challenges ahead. Thank the recruiter for taking the time to consider your application.
Remember then to sign off "yours sincerely" opposed to "yours faithfully".
Steve Szita is director of Dazzling CVs