Good Basic Cover Letter
This basic cover letter can be adapted for just about any job search situation.
We show you how to put together a straightforward and convincing cover letter, how to effectively communicate your relevant skills and competencies for the job and how to make sure your resume gets read.
A resume without a cover letter often gets no further than the trash can. Show your interest and enthusiasm for the job opportunity by taking the time to write a good cover letter.
Follow the guidelines and use the sample letter to get the right message across.
The Cover Letter Checklist
- Always address the letter to an individual by his or her name. Do not send it to the "Hiring Manager" or "To Whom It May Concern". Contact the company and find out who the cover letter should be addressed to.
- Clearly establish why you are writing the cover letter in your opening sentences - the position you are applying for and why you are applying.
- Express enthusiasm and confidence that you are a suitable candidate in your introduction.
- Highlight your competencies and summarize why you are the right person for the job.
- Close the cover letter with a proactive request for an interview, meeting or follow-up.
What competencies should I focus on?
There are a number of competencies that are recognized as key to successful performance in nearly all job fields. The employer will be looking for evidence of these competencies in your basic cover letter.
The likelihood is that you already possess and use these skills in your professional life. Go through each of these 6 key competencies and think of an example of how you use that particular behavior or competency in your work.
Communication skills - able to express your ideas clearly, able to listen actively, able to follow instructions properly and give information appropriately.
Teamwork - able to work together with others to reach a goal. Co-operative and willing to put the team's success above personal success.
Problem-solving - able to collect and analyze information to identify problems and come up with possible solutions.
Planning and organizing - able to plan and prioritize work tasks to achieve the necessary outcomes.
Integrity - honesty, respect for others, reliability, maintain confidentiality, fulfill your commitments and adhere to company policies.
Motivation - this includes energy, hard work and enthusiasm for the job. A willingness to put in extra hours and go the extra mile.
It is important to communicate these competencies to the employer in your cover letter. Remember that these behaviors apply to virtually any job situation and can be used in any basic cover letter. Emphasize those competencies that are indicated in the job posting.
You can view other key competencies that may apply to your particular job at 12 core competencies for all jobs.
Sample Basic Cover Letter
Your Contact details (phone and email)
Contact Job Title
Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms Last Name
I was excited to see your opening for an Administrative Assistant on the XYZ job website. I am confident that my background and abilities are an excellent match for the job. Please allow me to highlight my skills and competencies as they relate to your job requirements.
- X years wide-ranging experience as an administrative assistant in a fast-paced work environment
- proven computer skills with an in-depth knowledge of MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint
- excellent verbal and written communication skills used to successfully develop presentations, write reports and draft correspondence
- recognized as a resourceful problem-solver who is able to efficiently collect and analyze information to find workable solutions
- strong organizational and planning skills ensure that I am able to accurately and consistently meet multiple project deadlines
- a hard worker who has built confidence and trust at all levels
- a committed team member who is known to go the extra mile
I firmly believe that I can make a positive contribution to your company and I have enclosed my resume to provide more information on my skills and experience. I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you for an in-depth discussion and I will make myself available at your first convenience.
Thank you for you review and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Basic Cover Letter 2
Know what to include in your cover letter by fully understanding the purpose of the cover letter.
Use these well written sample cover letters to help you craft your own persuasive and professional cover letter.
A comprehensive cover letter template to complete with your own details.
Decide which is the most suitable cover letter format for you to use.
Powerful phrases for closing a cover letter.
Tips on how to create a cover letter that gets the reader's attention.
Easy-to-use sample email cover letter
Sample letter of intent for employment will help you land the critical first interview.
Are you sending a cold cover letter? View sample networking cover letters.
These job descriptions will help you to include all the necessary information in your cover letter.
All the resume examples you need to adapt for your own use.
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Cover Letter Sample for a Resume
Do you need to write a cover letter for a job? You may feel as though the document is unnecessary since you already provide a resume with plenty of information. Not so! A cover letter serves an important purpose: it presents your case for why you should be hired. Your cover letter is where you can show your passion for the position or company, and highlight relevant qualifications.
Many employers require cover letters as part of the job application process.
However, even when an employer does not explicitly ask for a cover letter, you should send one. A strong cover letter can make your application stand out.
Read below for an example of a cover letter to send with a resume, plus tips for writing and sending a cover letter. Use the sample as a guide when you write your cover letter, remembering to tailor all the information to your own experiences and the specific position and company. Here are some cover letter tips.
Do Send a Cover Letter
Even when an employer does not directly ask for one, be sure to always to send a cover letter. The only time you do not want to send a letter is when a job listing explicitly says not to send one. In that situation, it's more important to follow the directions on the job listing.
Customize Each Letter
It might seem tedious, be it is important to customize each letter to fit the specific job you for which you are applying.
It will make your letter stand out.
Highlight Relevant Qualifications
In your cover letter, address one or two skills or qualifications you have that match the job description. Provide a specific example of a time you demonstrated each of these qualifications.
You can use your cover letter to go into detail about something in your resume that needs explaining.
For example, a cover letter is a great place to talk about a career shift or to explain an extended gap in employment.
Read Samples and Templates
For help writing your cover letter, read samples like the one below, as well as cover letter templates. Remember to tailor any example or template to fit your own experiences and the job for which you are applying.
Edit, Edit, Edit
Be sure to thoroughly proofread each cover letter before sending it, looking for grammar and spelling errors. Consider asking a friend or family member, or even a career counselor, to read over your cover letter.
Sample Cover Letter for a Resume
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:
I am interested in the author's assistant position at ABC Company, as advertised in XXX. I am currently employed as legislative director for Assemblywoman XXXX, Chairperson of the NYS Assembly. I believe that the skills and experiences I have gained at this position make me an ideal candidate for the job of author’s assistant.
As legislative director, I have developed strong writing and editing skills. For example, one of my main duties is to prepare Assemblywoman XXXX’s personal legislation, which deals with issues related to her position as Senior Member of the NYS Assembly Standing Committee.
This duty requires meticulous writing and editing skills, and an ability to convey complex legal ideas clearly. I have prepared dozens of pieces of legislation and received praise for the clarity of my writing.
I have also gained extensive experience in legal and policy research – fields that you state the author’s assistant must be familiar with. My experience in the NYS Assembly has afforded me the opportunity to become familiar with the consolidated and unconsolidated laws of the State of New York. In particular, through my work with Assemblywoman XXXX, I have become heavily involved in the current welfare and Medicaid reform movement. I am always eager to learn more about state legislation, reading up on these topics on my own time to become more knowledgeable. I would love to bring this passion for policy and law to your company.
I am confident that my experience in the Legislature and my research and writing skills qualify me for consideration. If you would like, I can provide you with current samples of my work. I have also enclosed my resume. I look forward to meeting with you and discussing my qualifications in more detail.
Signature (hard copy letter)
Sending an Email Cover Letter
If you're sending your cover letter via email, list your name and the job title in the subject line of the email message. Include your contact information in your email signature, but don't list the employer's contact information. Skip the date, and start your email message with the salutation.