DIE WILGERS ZAR 3,500,000 4 2 2

Writing Cover Letters
Know yourself. Know your audience. Match your talents (skills, experience, knowledge)
to their needs.
9 Think about what you want to say before you begin writing.
9 Why you? What do you know about the employer, the job, the industry that
makes you a good fit?
9 Consider your relevant qualifications – what makes your education and
experience a match for this job?
9 State your purpose aloud or write it in one key sentence.
9 Gather information that will show you’ve done your research and understand the
issues, challenges, and opportunities facing a particular organization.
9 Identify the transferable skills – ones you’ve used in other positions, internships,
and activities – that apply to this employer’s needs.
9 How do your interests apply to this position?
9 Which values does this opportunity represent for you?
9 Create a Column A & B format: In A, list an employer’s requirements and in B,
list ways in which you meet those requirements. The “matches” will form an
outline for your letter.
This stage flows easily when you’ve researched and reflected (see How to Begin).
9 Tell your reader why you’re writing; identify the position and how you learned
about it
9 Use a job code if listed
9 Always include the name of a referral source, if applicable
9 Address a specific person. A quick telephone call to an employer can help
determine the name and correct spelling of your recipient. If you can’t get this
information, address the letter to "Dear Hiring Manager" or "Dear HR Team."
9 Avoid salutations such as "Dear Sir," "Dear Madam," or "To Whom It May
9 Use active voice and powerful verbs for lively communication.
9 Vary sentence length.
9 Use conversational, grammatically correct language. Contractions are acceptable
as long as they’re correct
9 If you are answering an ad, respond directly to points in the job description.
9 Repeat your phone and/or email address in your closing paragraph.
9 Keep it brief – one page maximum, three - five paragraphs.
9 For hardcopy, use quality bond paper, the same stock as your resume. Remember
to sign your name.
This is the opportunity to achieve differentiation – the secret of successful brand
marketing. Ensure that you have produced an A+ document by proofreading, revising,
and improving your writing.
1. Identifying and correcting weaknesses
2. Strengthening your pitch
9 Make sure you’ve communicated what you can contribute to the reader’s
organization, rather than WIFME (“What’s in it for me?”).
9 Evaluate the appearance and “user friendliness” of your writing. Recruiters will
skim your letters, so make sure vital information can be easily spotted. Use
statistics, highlighted statements, or bullets.
9 Avoid boring statements such as "Enclosed please find my resume for your
9 Eliminate weak, unnecessary qualifiers: I feel, I wish, I desire, I believe …
Your Street Address
City, State, Zip
Current Date [4 returns]
Title or Position
Street Address
City, State, Zip [2 returns]
Dear Dr./Mr./Ms. Last Name:
[2 returns]
Why Them? Engage your reader. “You had me at ‘hello” To get your reader interested, avoid
generic openings such as, “Enclosed please find my resume …” State your goal and the name of the
position. Indicate how you heard of the opening, and if you have a referral from someone, mention
that individual by name. If you are inquiring about potential opportunities, describe the type of
position you are seeking. Personalize the letter by expressing an interest in this particular employer
and illustrate you have done some research about the organization.
Why You? Sell yourself. Make the match between you and the position / organization. Be as
specific as possible in addressing the requirements listed in the job posting. Regardless of your many
valuable skills and traits, focus only on the ones the employer needs. Describe your most relevant
qualifications and illustrate with examples Demonstrate how your background and experience
qualify you for this job.
What’s next? Close with enthusiasm. Restate your interest in the opportunity and an interview.
Indicate that you will call to follow-up (if you’re certain you will do this). Then make sure you do!
Employers appreciate initiative and motivation. [2 returns]
Sincerely, [4 returns]
(Sign your name here)
Your typed name
[2 returns]
Your Street Address
City, State, Zip
Mr./Ms. First and Last Name
Employer Name
Street Address
City, State, Zip
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,
I am applying for a summer internship at Lockheed Martin. As a reader of Popular Science
childhood, I have always seen the Lockheed Martin name associated with aircraft, defense and other
technological advancements. I had the opportunity to speak with a fellow Tufts student who was
an intern last summer at Lockheed Martin. She described a rewarding experience working in
Orlando and enjoyed the hands-on opportunities that were available to her.
Last summer I worked for a small research company, and I am currently working on a research
project for Professor Gary Leisk of the Tufts University Mechanical Engineering Department.
Based on these experiences and interests, I hope to join you as an intern and contribute the skills I
have developed through my courses and internships. With this hands-on experience, I’m ready to
move to a larger corporate structure and look forward to the learning opportunities offered at
Lockheed Martin.
I am eager to discuss the possibility of an internship at Lockheed Martin. If you have any
questions or require any additional information, please contact me at (000) 000-0000 or
[email protected]
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
Your Signature
Your Name
Your Street Address
City, State, Zip
First and Last Name
Employer Name
Street Address
City, State, Zip
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,
Through recent meetings with Tufts alumni who work on the Amtrak campaign, I’ve had the
opportunity to explore my interest in advertising and in particular, Arnold Worldwide. I have
learned about the different roles of Arnold’s various departments and refined my interest to focus
more specifically on brand planning. As a result, I am applying for your internship in brand
planning which is posted on Tufts Career Connect.
As a Political Science major at Tufts University, I am aware of the significance and power of public
opinion. Knowing the trends, habits, and opinions of the public serves the astute politician as well
as the savvy brand planner.
In an entirely different role, my experience at Starbucks has taught me to brew excellent coffee
while learning about the effectiveness of marketing techniques. As a barista, I was privy to the
consumer’s opinion of Starbucks and observed its effects on the corporation and vice-versa. In yet
another arena, while interning at a branch office of NASA, I familiarized myself with administrative
operations and learned the importance of teamwork and effective communication. I feel that this
combination of educational and professional experience has prepared me to succeed as a brand
marketing intern.
The prospect of exploring the business of advertising with Boston’s top firm represents a new
challenge to complement my academic pursuits. I hope you will want to learn more about my brand
by contacting me at (000) 000-0000 or [email protected] Thank you for considering me.
Your Signature
Your Name
Your Name
Your Street Address
City, State, Zip
First and Last Name
Employer Name
Street Address
City, State, Zip
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,
As you select interns to support your mission at the OECD, I offer my knowledge and experiences
in international development for your review. I am available immediately to work with you this
spring while I study Foreign Policy as part of the Washington Semester Program at American
Your work requires the skills, attitude, and motivation that have characterized my career at Tufts
University. In the classroom, I have pursued a comprehensive study of foreign and national policy
issues, relating fields of politics and economics to development. Outside the classroom, I have
enjoyed leading organizations and initiatives that reflect my interest in creating cohesiveness and
active citizenship among Tufts students. These include teaching a Civics course at a local middle
school, organizing the first National Gandhi Day of Service project at the Greater Boston Food
Bank, and serving as the Public Relations Representative for the university’s largest cultural
Complementing my classroom experience and intellectual pursuits, I have traveled extensively from
India and Nepal to Central America and Africa. In my travels, I have observed a great divide in
economic, social, and governmental development across regions. This experience fuels my interest
to study and work with your organization.
I am available to start work in January, and will contact you next week to follow-up. In the
meantime, you may contact me at (000) 000-0000 or [email protected] Thank you for your
Your Signature
Your Name