A well-written cover letter will make your job application stand out to employers. But how do you organize a cover letter and what should you include? We’ve created a professional template that you can download to create a letter that will impress recruiters. And be sure to download our corresponding resume template so your application looks seamless.
Want personalized guidance on your cover letter? Don't forget to consult your school's career services center!
The sections of the cover letter are:
Contact information: Include your first and last name, city and state, phone number and email address. You can include an additional link, like an online portfolio, if relevant to the role you’re applying for.
Greeting: A personalized cover letter goes a long way, so try to find the name of the hiring manager and address the letter to them. If you can’t find their name, “Dear Hiring Manager” will suffice.
The introduction: The opening paragraph should get the attention of the reader and make them want to learn more about you. You can briefly explain why you’re excited to apply for the job, or tell a short story that is relevant to the position. Make this as personal as possible, and explain how the role connects to your passions and interests! This is also a great place to mention if you're met the recruiter (or someone else from the company) at a career fair or another networking opportunity.
Your skills and experience: The main section of the cover letter summarizes your relevant skills and experiences. Be sure to include industry-specific or technical skills needed in the role. You can talk about your soft skills like leadership or communication, with examples of times that you’ve demonstrated them. Use the STAR method to tell an effective story about how you've applied your skills. Don't just repeat your resume—use this as a chance to show off your personality as well.
Closing: End your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering your application. Let them know you look forward to discussing your experience, or similar statement of interest in next steps. Sign your letter politely: ”Sincerely” or “Best regards” are common send-offs.
To create your cover letter using the template:
- View the template document here.
- Click File in the upper left-hand corner.
- Select Make a Copy in Google docs or Download as a Word document.
4. If you made a copy, create a name for it and click OK.
- Write your cover letter, and tailor it for each application. (That includes changing the greeting, job title/company, as well as any examples and stories to make sure they are the most relevant ones for the role). Be sure to use clear file names so you never get your cover letters mixed up.
- Save as a PDF and upload to your Handshake profile to include it in your application!