Undergraduate Career Services

Person reviewing document

Cover Letter Writing

Writing Tips

  • Do not exceed one page
  • Set-up your heading like your resume heading
  • Address your letter to an actual person if at all possible
    • If you are unable to obtain this information you can use “Dear Hiring Manager:” or “Dear Search (or Selection) Committee”
  • Do write 3-4 paragraphs
  • Be relevant and focused on the job-highlight key skills referenced in the job description
  • Avoid stating the obvious
  • Do not make the reader work too hard to see that you are right for the position
  • Make direct matches between their needs and your skills
  • Make sure your cover letter is free of typos and spelling and grammar errors
  • Keep in mind that this is a business letter-keep the tone professional
  • Do write and edit your letter with great care
  • Do get to the point
  • Do ask a professional to review your cover letter
  • Do not end your letter passively
  • Do not send generic cover letters to numerous companies

Content

  • List your contact information
  • Express interest and enthusiasm
  • Reference your relevant academics and work experience
  • State your major and/or concentration(s)
  • List your relevant skills and qualifications
  • Document information pertaining to their company
  • Thank reader for their consideration

Suggested Cover Letter Content and Format

Name
123 Alphabet Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19104
email@comcast.com
215.555.1212


Today’s Date

Name of Interviewer
Title
Name of Company
Company Address
(Additional Company Address)
City, State Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

The first paragraph should reference the position you are applying to, your educational and professional background, and a synopsis of why you are a great fit for this position. This paragraph is an introduction that will entice the employer representative to review your qualifications and resume. Consider this section an introductory paragraph that will reference key skills you possess that relate to the position you are applying. List specific skills documented in the job description that you will expand on in paragraph two.

The mid section of your cover letter should be one to two paragraphs that tell the employer exactly how you match or exceed their needs. You do this by listing your skills that relate to the job description. Do not repeat your resume but incorporate specific examples of work, project, or other experiences that prove you possess the skills needed by the company. Try to integrate results of projects and tasks you completed to showcase your accomplishments as well as your skills.

The third paragraph allows you to emphasize why you are interested in working for this employer and in this specific position. Utilize this paragraph to demonstrate that you have performed your research on the prospective employer and understand the company as well as the needs of the industry. Writing this paragraph well, can help you to differentiate yourself from the competition and clearly showcases you have tailored your application material.
In the closing paragraph, thank the employer for their consideration and review of your application materials. In addition, reiterate that you are an excellent match for the company’s needs and state that you look forward speaking with them further to discuss the position. You may want to include your contact information within this section in case the employer needs clarification or further information.

Sincerely,

Name


Example of Heading

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ms. Sarafina Shima
Director of Human Resources
Grant Thornton
2001 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Dear Ms. Shima:

Example of First Paragraph

I am writing in regard to my interest in the Forensic Valuation Services Associate position. As a graduating student from Drexel University with a major in business administration and concentrations in accounting and finance, I have maintained a 3.8 GPA and will be eligible to sit for the CPA in June 2013. I feel that my previous finance and public accounting experience combined with my analytical, valuation, and modeling skills make me a qualified candidate for this opportunity.

Example of Second Paragraph

I completed three six-month internships in the finance and accounting industries at Comcast, Turner Investment Partners, and KPMG. During these experiences I gained relevant skills in auditing, financial modeling, and business valuation. As an Internal Audit Assistant at Comcast, I performed financial and operational audits, prepared work papers and documented audit testing procedures and findings. At Turner Investment Partners, I created earnings and revenue models, performed competitor analysis, developed comprehensive reports, and evaluated risk exposure for portfolios. In my last internship at KPMG, I served client engagements within the consulting, financial, manufacturing, and pharmaceutical industries. At KPMG I collected and analyzed audit evidence based on risk and materiality and executed controls testing to provide reasonable assurance over the controls’ operating effectiveness. Lastly, I gained leadership skills through holding officer positions in Beta Alpha Psi and the Undergraduate Student Government Association.

Example of Third Paragraph

I feel that the FVS Associate role would allow me to utilize my current skills in a client facing and team based role. Grant Thornton’s focus on collaboration, respect and responsibility is in alignment with my preference to work in a team environment. I feel that my past audit and finance experience have well equipped me to take on this challenging opportunity.

Example of Closing Paragraph

For your consideration, I have enclosed a resume that more completely describes my education and experience. I am very enthusiastic about this position and I look forward to discussing the opportunity with you further.

Sincerely,

Name

(Some information retrieved from careerbuilder.com)