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Sample Cover Letter

Your name
Street Address
City, State zip

Employer Name
Street Address
City, State, Zip


First paragraph: Mention the name of any person who referred you to this employer first, if this information is available to include. Otherwise, start your letter with a powerful statement that will grab the reader's attention. Identify yourself and the type of position you are seeking. State how you heard about this job opening. ("As an attorney with 15 years experience in the prosecutor's office, I am writing in response to your advertisement in the New York Times for litigators.")

Second paragraph: Explain why you are qualified for or interested in this particular position. Stress how you can benefit the employer and what you have to offer. Don't repeat word-for-word the text of your resume. Rather, highlight and embellish upon the most significant aspects of your background with regard to the particular employer. Consider using bullets to draw attention to your accomplishments.

Third paragraph: Restate your interest in the particular organization, and express your desire for an interview. State how the employer may contact you if your address and phone number are different from the information on your resume. You may also state that you will call to set up an appointment. If you are truly interested in this job, feel free to take the initiative.


Type your name


Excerpted from Jobs for Lawyers by Hillary Jane Mantis & Kathleen Brady (Impact Publications 1996).

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