A Cover Letter in Four Paragraphs

Let’s keep this simple, because above all, a cover letter needs to be simple. Why? Because you’re going to need to write a unique cover letter for every targeted position you apply to. That’s a lot of cover letters.

First Paragraph:

Identify where you saw the job posting (this helps the employer know what resources are working for them) and explain why you are applying for the position in a way that engages the reader’s interest. You may allude to your career goals/objective(s) in this first paragraph.


  1. I understand from a classified ad posted in the San Francisco Chronicle, that you have a need for an experienced sales professional for the West Coast area. I am very interested in learning more about the position and believe my recent work experience makes me an ideal candidate.
  2. My outgoing personality, my finance experience, and my recently completed education make me a strong candidate for a position as a Financial Analyst with your company.
  3. I wanted to apply for a position as a Salesperson with your company. I read a recent article which highlighted your company as one of the fastest growing leaders in the Business to Business sector.I would enjoy the chance to bring my proven track record in Sales to your team.
  4. I was very interested in pursuing the Product Marketing Position I saw advertised on your website.

Second Paragraph:

Describe your recent skills, work experience and/or education. Start relating these to the position in question as far as possible. For example, concentrate on highlighting aspects of your past work which would help you fulfil the duties of this position.


  1. After finishing my Business degree, I was hired by Company X to help grow their West Coast territory. I was responsible for establishing and growing a number of different accounts in the Technology sector. During my employment, I was promoted to Senior Sales Representative and given the opportunity of handling larger, more established client accounts.
  2. As a recent graduate of the San Francisco School of Business, I put myself through school by working jobs in advertising sales and retail. I feel these business experiences helped solidify my work ethic and build on my formal education.
  3. This May, I will receive my BA degree from Highland University with a dual degree in economics and art history. I have recently completed my senior thesis exploring the development of poster art in America, for which I have been awarded academic honors.
  4. In my current role I manage the advertising on a Top 50 consumer website. My job requires that I act as an advocate for our internal sales staff as well as for our clients. I was intimately involved in the site redesign from an advertising sales perspective and helped roll out several new ad products.

Third Paragraph:

Continue tailoring yourself to the job description in the hiring manager’s mind. Use the duties and requirements listed in the job posting to elaborate on what you would bring the company.


  1. I have very strong account management skills and enjoy helping my clients find solutions to their business and technology problems. In my last six months with my current company, I have brought in over 15% of the business, and have exceeded all of my sales goals.
  2. I believe I have the maturity, skills, and abilities to have a successful career as a Financial Analyst.
  3. At university, I focused my extracurricular efforts on writing and editing for the local newspaper. Subscriptions while I was an editor increased by 10 percent.
  4. I have excellent communication skills and have generally been regarded in my last two positions as an effective and affable team player. I like solving problems, changing minds and winning hearts. Although the role of Product Manager is a slightly new one for me, I feel my previous education, experience and unique skills lend themselves well to the expected and unexpected challenges this job will bring.

Fourth Paragraph:

Request an interview and offer contact information.


  1. I look forward to speaking with you further regarding any Sales-related opportunities with Company X. I can be reached on my cell phone at (415) XXX-XXXX.
  2. I will be returning to California at the end of May, and would very much to talk with you concerning this position. I will follow up this letter with a phone call to see if I can arrange a time to meet with you.
  3. I intend to visit the Chicago area in early April to prepare for my move to the city this summer. I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you during my upcoming trip to discuss the possibility of my employment with your company.
  4. I welcome further contact and would enjoy discussing this and potentially other positions with you.