Types of Cover Letters with the Basic Format and Samples

Types of Cover Letters with the Basic Format and Samples
There are many types of cover letters, including application letters, inquiry letters, referral cover letters, prospecting
letters, and other types of letters used to apply for jobs or inquire about jobs. The list below sows a few of them.
Cover Letters
Cover letters are sent or uploaded with a resume when applying for jobs. Your cover letter may make the difference
between obtaining a job interview and having your resume ignored, so, it makes good sense to devote the necessary
time and effort to writing effective cover letters.
A cover letter should complement, not duplicate your resume. Its purpose is to interpret the data-oriented, factual
resume and add a personal touch. Cover letters typically provides detailed information on why are you are qualified for
the job you are applying for. Effective cover letters explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and
identify your most relevant skills or experiences. A cover letter is often your earliest written contact with a potential
employer, creating a critical first impression.
There are three general types of cover letters:
1. The application letter which responds to a known job opening.
2. The prospecting letter which inquires about possible positions.
3. The networking letter which requests information and assistance in your job search.
Your cover letter should be designed specifically for each purpose outlined above as well as for each position you seek.
Do not design a form letter and send it to every potential employer (you know what you do with junk mail!). They should
express a high level of interest and knowledge about the position.
Application Cover Letters
An application letter is sent or uploaded with your resume when applying for jobs. The job application letters you send
explain to the employer why you are qualified for the position and why you should be selected for an interview.
Email Cover Letters
When you're sending an email cover letter, it's important to follow the employer's instructions on how to submit your
cover letter and resume, and to make sure that your email cover letters are written as well as any other correspondence
you send.
Even though it's quick and easy to send an email, it doesn't mean that you should write anything less than a detailed
cover letter focused on why you are a good match for the job you are applying for.
When applying for employment via email, copy and paste your cover letter into the email message or write your cover
letter in the body of an email message.
Sending Your Resume and Cover Letter via Email
If the job posting asks you to send an attachment, send your resume as a PDF or a Word document. Some employers do
not accept attachments. In these cases, paste your resume into your email message. Use a simple font and remove the
fancy formatting. Don't use HTML. You don't know what email client the employer is using, so, simple is best because
the employer may not see a formatted message the same way you do.
How Send an Email Cover Letter via Email
The most important part of sending an email cover letter is to follow the employer's instructions. If the job posting says
to include your cover letter and resume as an attachment, attach Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF files to your email
message. Here's how to send an email cover letter.
The Subject Line of Your Message - Make sure you list the position you are applying for in the Subject Line of
your email address, so the employer is clear as to what job you are applying for.
Include Your Signature - Include a signature with your contact information, so it's easy for the hiring manager to
get in touch with you.
Send a Test Message - Send the message to yourself first to test that the formatting works. If everything looks
good, resend to the employer.
Double Check Your Letter - Make sure you spell check and check your grammar and capitalization. They are just
as important in an email cover letter as in paper cover letters.
Inquiry Letters
An inquiry letter is sent to companies that may be hiring, but, haven't advertised job openings. Inquiry letters should
contain information on why the company interests you and why your skills and experience would be an asset to the
company. Also provide information on how you will follow-up and your contact information.
Inquiry letters can be send via mail or email. However, sometimes a mailed written letter can make more of an
impression than an email message which may not be opened.
Letters of Interest / Prospecting Letters
A letter of interest, also known prospecting letter, is sent to companies to let them know you are interested in jobs that
may be currently open or become available in the future. A letter of interest, also known as a letter of inquiry or
prospecting letter, is sent to companies that may be hiring, but, haven't listed a specific job opening to apply for. Your
letter of interest should contain information on why the company interests you and why your skills and experience
would be an asset to the company. Also provide information on how you can be contacted if the company is interested
in following up with you.
Referral Cover Letters
When you are applying for jobs a referral can go a long way. Hiring managers and recruiters are more likely to take a
closer look at candidates who were referred by someone they know. When you mention a referral in your cover letter,
be sure to mention the individual who referred you by name and also mention your connection with the person - how
you know them.
Summer Job / Internship Cover Letters
When you're writing a cover letter for summer job or internship, your cover letters should reflect why you are qualified
and interested in the position. It's also a good idea to mention your availability, if the job posting mentions a start and
end date for the job.
Networking Letters
Networking letters are used request job search advice and assistance from your connections. Networking letters include
letters of introduction, referral letters, letters requesting a meeting, and letters seeking career advice. Networking
letters can be sent to people you know or to people to whom you were referred. Networking letters may be sent by
mail, email, or via networking sites such as LinkedIn.
In general, there are several types of cover letters that can be sent to employers and contacts. Be sure to choose a type
of cover letter that reflects how you are applying for the job or the type of job search assistance you are requesting.
Your cover letter should be designed specifically for the purpose you are writing and customized for each position you
seek. Be sure to choose a type of cover letter that reflects how you are applying for the job or the type of job search
assistance you are requesting. Your cover letter should be designed specifically for the purpose you are writing and
customized for each position you seek.
General Cover Letter Format for All Types
City, State, Zip Code
Phone Number
Email Address
Employer Contact Information (if you have it)
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name, (leave out if you don't have a contact)
Body of Application Letter
The body of your application letter lets the employer know what position you are applying for, why the employer should
select you for an interview, and how you will follow-up.
First Paragraph
The first paragraph of your letter should include information on why you are writing. Mention the job you are applying
for and where you found the job listing. Include the name of a mutual contact, if you have one.
Middle Paragraph(s)
The next section of your application letter should describe what you have to offer the employer. Mention specifically
how your qualifications match the job you are applying for. Remember, you are interpreting your resume, not repeating
Final Paragraph
Conclude your application letter by thanking the employer for considering you for the position. Include information on
how you will follow-up.
Complimentary Close
Application Letter Sample
Mr. George Gilhooley
XYZ Company
87 Delaware Road
Hatfield, CA 08065
(909) 555-5555
[email protected]
Dear Mr. Gilhooley,
I am writing to apply for the programmer position advertised in the Times Union. As requested, I am enclosing a
completed job application, my certification, my resume and three references.
The opportunity presented in this listing is very interesting, and I believe that my strong technical experience and
education will make me a very competitive candidate for this position. The key strengths that I possess for success in this
position include:
I have successfully designed, developed, and supported live use applications
I strive for continued excellence
I provide exceptional contributions to customer service for all customers
With a BS degree in Computer Programming, I have a full understanding of the full life cycle of a software development
project. I also have experience in learning and excelling at new technologies as needed. Please see my resume for
additional information on my experience.
I can be reached anytime via email at [email protected] or my cell phone, 909-555-5555.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you about this employment opportunity.
FirstName LastName
Cover Letter Sample
City, State, Zip
Dear Mrs. Buzby,
I am writing in reference to the position of Store Manager at Lucky's Book Store advertised in the Gazette. Jean Davis
suggested that I contact you regarding this position. Jean and I have worked together coordinating our Community
Library Book Sale for the past several years, and she believes my experience and enthusiasm would be compatible with
the work environment at Lucky's.
My retail experience is extensive, having worked in national department stores such as Racy's and Willards, as well as
small boutiques in the local Downtown College Area. As Manager of the Gift Department at Racy's, I was responsible for
overseeing the Bridal and Gift Registry, and suggested changes to the layout which were adopted throughout the
company. While working as Store Manager at The Modern Woman, a women's clothing boutique, I increased sales by
50% over the five years I was there through customer service, creative advertising, and display. During that time, The
Modern Woman was recognized in the Downtown Area's "Best Shopping Experience" magazine four times.
With my love of books, and retail experience, I believe that I could offer Lucky's a fresh perspective and innovative ideas
in the competitive book sellers market. Please review my enclosed resume. I would appreciate the opportunity to meet
with you to discuss what I can offer to Lucky's Book Store. Thank you for your time and consideration,
Grace Dolphin
Email Cover Letter with Attached Resume Sample
Subject Line of Email Message: Communications Director Position - Your Name
Email Message:
Dear Hiring Manager,
I read your job posting for a Communications Director with interest.
In my position as Communications Director for XYZ Company, I wrote articles for the company website, managed guest
author submissions, and wrote and sent a weekly email newsletter to subscribers.
While Assistant Communications Director for Assemblyperson Susan Smith, I researched, drafted and amended
legislation, wrote press releases, and was responsible for office communications and correspondence.
I also have extensive experience writing on a freelance basis on labor issues, which, I believe, would be an ideal match
for this position. Articles are available for your review at:
List the websites
Additional writing samples and my resume are attached. If I can provide you with any further information on my
background and qualifications, please let me know.
I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your consideration.
Jane Doe
URL (website)
Home Phone
Cell Phone
Email Cover Letter with Attached Resume Sample
Subject Line of Email Message: Store Manager Position - Your Name
Email Message:
Dear Hiring Manager,
I read your job posting for the Store Manager position with interest. I can offer XYZ Company:
- Over five years of retail management experience
- Ability to effectively hire, train, and manage staff
- Payroll management, scheduling, reports, and inventory
- Extensive work with visual standards and merchandising high-ticket items
In addition to my extensive retail experience, I have excellent communication skills. I always maintain a gracious and
professional manner when communicating with people, including customers and store staff. My broad experience and
range of skills make me a superior candidate for this position.
My resume, which is below, provides additional information on my background and qualifications. I look forward to
hearing from you as soon as possible to arrange time for an interview.
Thank you for your consideration.
Paul Jones
Email Address
Paste your resume here
Letter of Interest Example
Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email
Job Title
City, State Zip
Dear Mr./Ms. LastName,
The American Company has been recognized as one of the best places to work in the country for IT professionals. You
have deliberately set out to create this culture, and it shows! It is my understanding that you have been deluged with
resumes since Computerland released their list of the best companies at which to work. Mine is one more, but I do have
some experience that is hard to come by.
My IT experience gives me a unique ability to apply technology, in all its forms, to business processes. Some of the
business process knowledge includes accounting, finance, facilities, inventory control, budgeting, vendor management
and various operational processes.
I have experience with merger/acquisition events, high growth challenges, technology replacement projects, and IT
process improvement. I have delivered large technology projects on schedule/on budget and in alignment with the
business strategy. Companies I have worked for include ICM, HEP, IBX and SED.
I would enjoy an opportunity to talk with you or someone in your organization to see where my skill set would be of the
greatest benefit to your company.
Your Signature
Your Typed Name
Referral Cover Letter Example
Mr. Rich Freeland, VP Marketing
Ford Center
123 Main Street
Oklahoma City, WA 66556
Dear Mr. Freeland,
In a recent conversation with Janis French, she suggested I contact you. You are recognized for your expertise in
managing Moscone Center, Reunion Plaza and, currently, The Ford Center.
My passion is marketing large productions and events where I can utilize my creative, innovative and problem solving
abilities. The sense of satisfaction at the close of an event or production is always worth the time, effort and hard work.
My work includes 7 international trade shows for SC Johnson and Sons. They were pleased with the increase in quality
inquiries and brand awareness and the fact I had reduced the overall trade show costs.
Mr. Freeland, I do not expect you to have (or know of) opportunities. I would like a brief meeting to discuss the
convention industry as well as current and future trends. Your advice and feedback will be greatly appreciated.
I will call you the first part of the week to set a convenient time to meet. I will come prepared and be brief. I look
forward to meeting you.
Deborah Sweetingale
Sample Cover Letter - Internship
FirstName LastName
City, State Zip
cell: 555-555-5555
Job Title
City, State Zip
Dear Ms. LastName,
I am interested in applying for the scientific research summer internship position that was listed through the Name
University Career Services Office.
I have had a great deal of laboratory experience in chemistry, biology, and geology, both indoors and in the field. In the
lab, I have performed chemical reactions and I am currently using microscopes to observe many specimens. In
environmental field studies, I have conducted outdoor labs to assess water chemistry.
Last summer, I worked as conservation assistant at Clumber National Park. I am seeking to complement this outdoor
experience with a research internship in order to acquire the background necessary for a future career in scientific
I believe that I would an asset to your program. This internship would provide me with the ideal opportunity to assist at
your organization and to expand my research skills.
I will call next week to see if you agree that my qualifications seem to be a match for the position. If so, I hope to
schedule an interview at a mutually convenient time. I look forward to speaking with you.
Thank you for your consideration.
FirstName LastName
Sample Job Search Networking Letter
Contact Name
City, State, Zip
Dear Mr. Contact,
I was referred to you by Diane Smithers from XYZ company in New York. She recommended you as an excellent source
of information on the communications industry.
My goal is to secure an entry-level position in communications. I would appreciate hearing your advice on career
opportunities in the communications industry, on conducting an effective job search, and on how best to uncover job
Thanks so much, in advance, for any insight and advice you would be willing to share. I look forward to contacting you
early next week to set up a telephone informational interview. Thank you for your consideration.
YourFirstName YourLastName