Cover Letters

How to Write a Cover Letter for English Learners

Cover Letter Essentials

The cover letter should always be included when sending your resume or CV for a possible job interview. This letter of application serves the purpose or introducing you and asking for an interview. The most important aspect of a successful cover letter is to introduce yourself as an ideal candidate for the job. To do this, your cover letter should include point out the following.

  • How you found the job advertisement
  • One or two specific examples of your job experience that matches the job advertisement exactly
  • A call for specific acton on the part of the employer
  • A reference to your resume

Here is an outline to writing a successful cover letter. To the right of the letter, look for important notes concerning the layout of the letter signaled by a number.

Cover Letter Outline

2520 Vista Avenue - 1
Olympia, Washington 98501
April 19, 2001

Mr. Bob Trimm, Personnel Manager - 2
Ideas Inc.
587 Lilly Road

Dear Mr. Trimm: - 3

Opening paragraph - Use one of the following to bring yourself to the attention of the reader and make clear what job you are applying for:

  1. Summarize the opening
  2. Name the opening
  3. Request an opening
  4. Question the availability of an opening

Middle paragraph(s)- Use one of the following in each of your middle paragraphs to provide the reader with plenty of reasons to invite you to an interview:

  1. Education
  1. Work experience
  2. Ability to work with others and/or alone
  3. Interest in your field
  4. Interest in the company
  5. Responsibilities in previous positions
Closing paragraph - Use the closing paragraph to ensure action on the part of the reader

The last paragraph needs to help ensure that action is taken. You can ask for an interview appointment time, stating that you will be happy to come to the employer's office when convenient.

Make it easy for the reader to follow-up by providing your telephone number and email address.


Kenneth Beare - 4


Important Salutation Notes

1 - Begin your cover letter by placing your address first, followed by the address of the company you are writing to.

2 - Use complete title and address; don't abbreviate.

3 - Always make an effort to write directly to the person in charge of hiring.

4 -Always sign letters.

Example Cover Letters

Example Letter

1: Responding to Advertisement

Example Letter

2: Requesting an Opening

For more detailed help with standard business writing skills, I highly recommend these business English books.

Here are some other basic business letters which you will find useful for typical English business correspondence.

Letters of Acknowledgement

Making a Sale - Sales Letter

Placing an Order

Making a Claim

Adjusting a Claim

Making an inquiry

Replying to an inquiry

New Account Terms and Conditions

Basic Business Letters

Writing a Cover Letter when Applying for a Job