Cover Letter Template

Introduction:

Your street address
City, State, Zip

Date

Contact's Name
Contact's Title
Organization Name
Street Address
City, State, Zip

Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. Last Name [If you are unsure of gender, omit salutation and write full name]:

First Paragraph:

The Set-Up

  • Address it appropriately. “Dear Committee Members or Dear Dr.____” is standard.
  • Introduce your candidacy. Identify the position, the name of the organization, and how you learned about it.
  • Name drop. If an alumni or someone else referred you, mention their name. If you had a great informational interview, include details. 
  • Show interest. Explain your interest, briefly. Avoid generic reasons that riff on the organization's website. 
  • Present academics. State when you received or will receive your degree. Back up projected dates. For example: “My chairperson has reviewed five of the six chapters.”

Middle Paragraphs:

The Proof

  • Show your fit. Speak to the job requirements, and highlight how your relevant skills, background, achievements and qualifications match. Demonstrate your competancies.
  • Elaborate on your CV. 
    • Give a brief statement of research and teaching interests.
    • Mention success as a teacher, with specific examples.
    • Elaborate on your graduate studies, professional experience or university volunteer positions.
  • Exhibit knowledge. Show what you know about the position, organization and field.

NOTE: If you are writing a general letter of inquiry, explain why you are interested in learning more about that career field.

Final Paragraph:

The Invitation

  • Demonstrate enthusiasm. Reiterate, briefly, your interest and fit. Mention excitement about courses you will be teaching, family ties in the area or specific departmental research of interest.
  • Provide contact details. Restate your phone number and email, and mention it if you will be at a future conference.
  • Mention enclosed materials. These may include your CV, teaching portfolio, writing sample and other materials.
  • Show appreciation. Thank the reader for considering your candidacy and note that you would welcome an interview to discuss it further.

Closing:

Sincerely,

Your signature (leave 3-4 spaces blank for this, or in an email, just type your name)