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.
Including a Photo on Your Resume
Should you add a photo to your resume? Will including a photo enhance your chances of getting hired? After all, your photo is on LinkedIn and your social networking site profiles. What difference does it make if it’s on your resume?
Should You Include a Photo on Your Resume?
There isn’t one right answer for including a photo on your resume, though it’s always been considered a bad idea for most job seekers.
Depending on your circumstances, it can be no, maybe, or even yes. Or you can consider a creative solution for showing a prospective employer your smiling face.
The Traditional Answer - No
The traditional advice regarding placing photos on resumes has been an emphatic "No", except for actors and models. The rationale for excluding photos has been to protect employers from allegations of discrimination based on race, age, weight, gender, attractiveness or personal style.
While this perspective is still embraced by most experts and human resources professionals, there are now some nuances worth considering in the present multimedia age. There are also ways you can get employers to view your picture without having to add your photo to your resume.
Review these options for including – or not – a photo on your resume. There are some exceptions to the "no picture" that might work for you.
Option: Include the URL of Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn profiles regularly incorporate a photo and are widely utilized by candidates in their job search and by recruiters sourcing talent.
If you believe your appearance would be an asset for your target job, incorporating a link to your LinkedIn profile on your resume is a safe and acceptable way to showcase your looks.
Though a certain appearance is essential for actors and models, an attractive, trustworthy or approachable appearance can also be an asset in many other fields.
Sales representatives, receptionists, bartenders, financial planners, public relations representatives, recruiters and many other service providers can benefit from projecting a certain image.
Option: Add a Photo to Your Networking Resume
Another possible exception to the accepted wisdom regarding the inclusion of photos is when you are utilizing your resume mostly for networking purposes. If you are distributing resumes at conferences or other events where you will be interacting with many individuals, a photo can help new contacts to remember you.
In addition, if you are being referred by your contacts to other individuals who don't know you, you might include a photo on your resume if you believe your appearance would be an asset.
You can mention to networking contacts that you would be glad to furnish a version of your resume without a picture if they would like to forward your document to other individuals for formal job screening.
Option: Attach a Business Card With Your Photo to Your Resume
One more option for in-person networking is to include a business card with a photo that you’ve made just for your job search. If you share your resume and your card with your contact information, both can be passed on if you’re being referred for a job or to another networking connection.
Where to Put the Picture
If you do opt to add a photo to your resume, the recommended place is at the top of the page. The photo should be a professional headshot, similar to or the same one you used for your LinkedIn profile. Here are tips for taking and choosing a professional photo.
Be Careful If You Need to Add a Photo
Even though you can add a photo in some circumstances, it doesn't mean that you should. It could get your resume knocked out of contention for a job if the employer doesn't think it's appropriate. Consider what value a picture will add, if any, before you start reworking your resume.