Examples Of General Cover Letters For Jobs

General / All-Purpose Cover Letter Sample

When you apply for a job, many times you will be required to submit a cover letter with your resume. Your cover letter should highlight points on your resume that make you a superior candidate for the position you are seeking. It should not simply review your resume, but rather point out details and expand on specific key assets which are essential for success in the job.

Information to Include in the Letter

Think of your cover letter not just as an introduction or a statement of intent to apply for a job, but as a golden opportunity to market yourself, your skills, your qualifications, and your training to an employer.

As a powerful marketing document, its primary purpose is to persuade a hiring manager to give a closer review to your resume than the typical six-second scan.

Sometimes a job posting lists the name of the hiring manager, and in that case, you should address your letter to him or her.

In cases where a name isn’t listed, you should make an effort to find out the right person to whom to address your letter. It’s always better to address your application materials to the appropriate hiring manager. If you can’t find their name by reviewing their corporate website or calling their front office, you may use the address of the company and an alternative salutation, such as “Dear Hiring Manager." Here are tips for how to address a cover letter.

The body of your letter should contain pertinent information about how you were referred to the opportunity, your interest in the position, your qualifications for the job, relevant training, and why you would make an excellent candidate.

In closing, you can include your plans for following up with the hiring manager: “I will call next week to follow up on the status of my application.” You should also thank them politely for their time. Use a business-like closing, such as “Sincerely,” “Best Regards,” or “Yours Truly,” followed by your name and signature (on a hard copy).

General / All-Purpose Cover Letter Sample

Your Name
Your Address (Optional)
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email

Date

Name
Title
Organization
Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

I am writing in reply to the classified ad you posted seeking to fill the position of Graduate Student Advisor for the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree program at ABC College.

Having earned my Master of Arts degree in Academic Advising from XYZ University, I understand the importance for informed academic counseling and program planning in a higher education environment.

I have also experienced, first-hand, the comforting effect of being able to contact an adviser who genuinely cares for the professional growth and success of students.

Prior to my graduate studies, during my career as an electrician, I was elected Chairman of the Executive Board which sat as the union’s representatives to the apprenticeship advisory board. In this capacity, I was able to be an effective advisor to apprentices who were experiencing scholastic problems which threatened their future in the industry. I particularly enjoyed working with older apprentices who were seeking a career change and had problems adjusting to the obligations of work, school, and family life.

I believe that both my educational background in Academic Advising and my work-related duties of counseling and advising students enrolled in learning programs qualifies me for consideration for the position of Graduate Student Advisor. I look forward to discussing how my skills can be of value to ABC College as it prepares to move into the new millennium. Thank you for your time, consideration, and forthcoming response.

Sincerely,

Your Signature (hard copy letter)

Your Typed Name

More Sample Cover Letters
Follow this link to review cover letter samples for a variety of career fields and employment levels, including an internship cover letter sample, as well as entry-level, targeted. and email cover letters.

Cover Letter Articles and Advice: Top 10 Cover Letter Writing Tips | What to Include in a Cover Letter | Email Cover Letters | Targeted Cover Letters

Cover Letters That Sell

John and Linda applied for the same job. They were equally qualified, and each submitted an excellent resume that emphasized accomplishments, training, positive work ethic and dedication.

John included a general cover letter that outlined his career history and aspirations. To save time, he used the same letter to apply for every job opening he looked at. Linda put more effort into her letter. She found out the hiring manager's name and addressed him directly. She researched the company and learned about its mission, past performance, goals and corporate culture. She also studied the job description and clearly spelled out how she was an excellent match for that particular opening. Linda backed up her claims by highlighting examples of her past success.

Although the candidates were equally qualified, Linda's extra effort landed her a job interview. John never got called.

Research Before You Write

The more you know about the employer's needs, the more compelling your letter can be. Review company Web sites, brochures, sales flyers and other promotional materials to glean pertinent information. If possible, speak with current employees to get the inside scoop. Search newspaper archives, public libraries and career-center resources. Do a keyword search using the company name and see what turns up.

Here are a few resources to get you started: 

Determine Your Unique Selling Points

With the knowledge that you have about the employer, how would you help achieve organizational goals? Set yourself apart: If there are 100 other applicants vying for the same position, why should the hiring manager take a chance on you? Make a list of the top five reasons you're an excellent candidate.

Construct Your Letter

  • Heading/Date/Inside Address: If you are writing a traditional (not email) letter, select a standard business-letter format such as block style. Your letter's design should match your resume.
     
  • Salutation: It's best to address your letter to a specific person (e.g., "Dear Ms. Jones:"), but use "Dear Hiring Manager," if there's no way to find that out. Use "Dear Search Committee:" if the decision will be made by committee. Avoid stale salutations such as "Dear Sir/Madam:" and "To Whom it May Concern:."
     
  • Opening Paragraph: Hiring managers are busy and do not care to wade through fluff. Your opening paragraph should clearly state the position for which you're applying. Include a reference code if requested and the referral source (e.g., recommendation from a current employee, Monster, etc.). Your opening may also include a synopsis of why you are a top candidate for the position. For example:

    Your position advertised on Monster is an excellent fit with my qualifications, as the enclosed resume will attest. My background includes 10 years of success managing international sales programs, top-ranked regions and Fortune 500 accounts. I offer particular expertise in the high tech sector, with in-depth knowledge of networking technology…
     
  • Body: Your letter's body contains the sales pitch. This is your chance to outline the top reasons you're worthy of an interview. When writing the body text, keep in mind that hiring managers are self-centered -- they want to know what you can do for them, not learn about your life story. Demonstrate how your credentials, motivation and track record would benefit their operation. Review your top five selling factors (the ones you jotted down when doing your company research) and weave them into the body, perhaps as a bulleted list. Back up achievements with specific examples of how your performance benefited current and former employers. Precede your bulleted list with a statement such as "Highlights of my credentials include:" or "Key strengths I offer include:."

    Keep your letter positive and upbeat. This is not the place to write a sob story about your employment situation. Put yourself in the hiring manager's shoes -- would you call yourself in for an interview?
     
  • Closing Paragraph: Your final paragraph should generate a call for action, so express your strong interest in an interview and state that you will follow up soon to confirm your resume was received and discuss the possibility of meeting face-to-face.
     
  • Complimentary Close and Your Name: End with a professional close such as "Best regards," "Sincerely" or "Respectfully yours."

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