Cover Letter Guide & Template

Learn the basics of cover letter writing. This guide identifies the three main sections of a cover letter, provides examples of each and a sample cover letter.

Download Guide Download a full cover letter guide. (PDF)

Download Template Download a full cover letter template. (Word)


The purpose of the cover letter is to introduce your resume and express your interest in working for the prospective employer. Your letter should be one page in length and written in standard business form.

Salutation

Address the letter to the person and department you are applying to. If there isn’t a contact person use “Dear Hiring Manager”.

Sample

  • Recipient Name
  • Position Title
  • Company Name
  • Street Address
  • City, Province Postal Code

  • Dear [Recipient Name],

Paragraph 1: Introduction

State your intention to apply for a position. If you are applying in response to a job advertisement, include the position title and identification number if available.

Sample

  • Please accept the enclosed resume as my application for the position [name of position] currently being advertised in/on [name of media].
  • Based on the criteria you listed, I believe I am an excellent candidate for the position advertised in/on [name of media]. Please accept the enclosed resume as my application for the position.
  • I am extremely interested in obtaining a position with [name of company]. I have outlined some background information about myself below and attached a copy of my resume for your consideration.
  • If your firm is seeking a professional who has demonstrated sound business judgement, decisiveness, well-developed planning, analytical and communication skills and a consistently high level of performance in a variety of progressively responsible and challenging assignments, please see my enclosed resume.

Paragraph 2: Body

Highlight your skills, experience, accomplishments and achievements as they relate to the job you are applying for. Specify how your qualifications match specific requirements found in the job advertisement.

Sample

  • Adept at applying myself to a wide variety of responsibilities, I know I would be an ideal candidate for your consideration. I am a talented, detail-oriented professional. I take pride in my work and I am seeking a challenging position, which utilizes my office skills.
  • I am conscientious in my personal and professional life. I take pride in myself, and my work, and derive considerable satisfaction from doing an assignment well. I cope well with high-stress situations and can manage a variety of projects simultaneously. I am seeking a position that offers challenge, responsibility and opportunity.
  • I have [number] years’ experience as a [position]. I am proficient in the use of various software packages including and am highly adaptable to change. I cope well in high stress situations and can manage a variety of projects simultaneously. I am highly organized, efficient, detail oriented and self-motivated. I am confident that I have the skills necessary to succeed in this position.
  • I am accustomed to a fast-paced environment where deadlines are a priority and handling multiple jobs simultaneously is a requirement. I enjoy a challenge and work hard to attain my goals. Constant communication with all levels of management has strengthened my interpersonal skills.
  • Throughout my career I have been known as a quick learner, self-starter and dedicated worker. I have demonstrated my ability to handle a variety of tasks effectively and deliver on deadlines. Although I work well independently, I am equally comfortable working as a part of a team. I cope well in high stress situations and am an effective team player. I am analytical, organized, motivated and detail oriented. I am confident that I have the skills necessary to succeed in this position.
  • I am a quick learner and highly adaptable to change, as well as able to interact effectively with others and cope well in high stress situations. I am skilled at prioritizing and organizing. I take pride in each assignment ensuring efficient quality service. I am confident that I have the skills necessary to succeed in this position.

Paragraph 3: Closing

Repeat your interest in working with the employer and that you are confident in your ability to fulfill their requirements. Ask for an interview and give your phone number and e-mail address and be clear about when you are most likely to be reached. Thank the employer for their time.

Sample

  • I believe my background provides the skills you require for this position. I would welcome the opportunity for a personal interview to further discuss my qualifications. I can be reached anytime at [phone number] or email (email address). Thank you for your time and consideration.
  • I look forward to the opportunity to meet with you to discuss our mutual interests. You can reach me by phone at to arrange an interview. Thank you for your consideration.
  • I am available for an interview at your convenience. I look forward to hearing from you. I can be reached at [phone number] or [email address]. Thank you for your time and consideration.
  • Should you have an opening that would utilize my skills, I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you personally to explore the contributions that I could make to your corporation. I can be reached anytime at [phone number]. Thank you for your consideration.
  • Though my resume is detailed and comprehensive, it cannot fully demonstrate the manner in which I have achieved success. Character, personality and the ability to work in a team environment can be demonstrated in a personal meeting. I would welcome an interview at your earliest convenience and can be reached at [phone number] anytime. Thank you for your time and consideration. I am certain that I would become a valuable addition to your staff.
  • Please consider what I have to offer, and I will call you early next week to answer any initial questions you may have and to hear about your hiring process. Also, should you wish to discuss further details not included in my resume, please call me at [phone number]. Thank you for your time and consideration.