Your street address
City, State, Zip
City, State, Zip
Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. Last Name [if you are unsure of gender, omit salutation and write full name]:
Opening paragraph: State immediately the position you are pursuing and how you came to know of the opening. [For a letter of inquiry, state the purpose of your letter]. If you were referred by an alum or other contact, mention that here, as well as any other interaction with representatives from the organization (fairs, information sessions, etc.). Tell the employer briefly in one or two sentences why you are interested in this position and in their organization.
1-2 Middle paragraph(s): Explain the relevant skills you have developed for the job, whether that is through coursework, activities, or work experience. It is important to use examples that support your relevant skills. You do not need to have directly related experience but think about the skills you have gained from what you have done and how those could be used in this position. Also tell the employer why you are particularly interested in that company. Avoid generic reasons that are taken right from the organization’s website.
Remember, the goal of these 1-2 paragraphs is to connect the dots for the employer, relating your strengths to the particular demands of this position. Do not merely provide a list of things you have done, as this can be easily ascertained from your resume. Instead, make your case for what you have to offer and why you want to offer it to this particular organization.
Last paragraph: State that you are interested in an interview or further discussing this opportunity. If you need to explain anything out of the ordinary on your resume, this is the place to do it. You might mention that if you do not hear anything from the potential employer in two to three weeks time that you will call as a follow-up to see where they are in their hiring process. Finish by thanking them for their time and consideration.
Your signature (leave 3-4 blank spaces for this; for email messages just type your name)
Your name in print