Skip to content

Basic Cover Letter

Good Basic Cover Letter

This basic cover letter can be adapted for just about any job search situation.

We show you how to put together a straightforward and convincing cover letter, how to effectively communicate your relevant skills and competencies for the job and how to make sure your resume gets read.

A resume without a cover letter often gets no further than the trash can. Show your interest and enthusiasm for the job opportunity by taking the time to write a good cover letter.

Follow the guidelines and use the sample letter to get the right message across.

The Cover Letter Checklist

  • Always address the letter to an individual by his or her name. Do not send it to the "Hiring Manager" or "To Whom It May Concern". Contact the company and find out who the cover letter should be addressed to.
  • Clearly establish why you are writing the cover letter in your opening sentences - the position you are applying for and why you are applying.
  • Express enthusiasm and confidence that you are a suitable candidate in your introduction.
  • Highlight your competencies and summarize why you are the right person for the job.
  • Close the cover letter with a proactive request for an interview, meeting or follow-up.

What competencies should I focus on?

There are a number of competencies that are recognized as key to successful performance in nearly all job fields. The employer will be looking for evidence of these competencies in your basic cover letter.

The likelihood is that you already possess and use these skills in your professional life. Go through each of these 6 key competencies and think of an example of how you use that particular behavior or competency in your work.

Communication skills - able to express your ideas clearly, able to listen actively, able to follow instructions properly and give information appropriately.

Teamwork - able to work together with others to reach a goal. Co-operative and willing to put the team's success above personal success.

Problem-solving - able to collect and analyze information to identify problems and come up with possible solutions.

Planning and organizing - able to plan and prioritize work tasks to achieve the necessary outcomes.

Integrity - honesty, respect for others, reliability, maintain confidentiality, fulfill your commitments and adhere to company policies.

Motivation - this includes energy, hard work and enthusiasm for the job. A willingness to put in extra hours and go the extra mile.

It is important to communicate these competencies to the employer in your cover letter. Remember that these behaviors apply to virtually any job situation and can be used in any basic cover letter. Emphasize those competencies that are indicated in the job posting.

You can view other key competencies that may apply to your particular job at 12 core competencies for all jobs.

Sample Basic Cover Letter

Your Name
Your Address
Your Contact details (phone and email)

Date

Contact Name
Contact Job Title
Company Name
Company Address

Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms Last Name

I was excited to see your opening for an Administrative Assistant on the XYZ job website. I am confident that my background and abilities are an excellent match for the job. Please allow me to highlight my skills and competencies as they relate to your job requirements.

  • X years wide-ranging experience as an administrative assistant in a fast-paced work environment
  • proven computer skills with an in-depth knowledge of MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint
  • excellent verbal and written communication skills used to successfully develop presentations, write reports and draft correspondence
  • recognized as a resourceful problem-solver who is able to efficiently collect and analyze information to find workable solutions
  • strong organizational and planning skills ensure that I am able to accurately and consistently meet multiple project deadlines
  • a hard worker who has built confidence and trust at all levels
  • a committed team member who is known to go the extra mile

I firmly believe that I can make a positive contribution to your company and I have enclosed my resume to provide more information on my skills and experience. I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you for an in-depth discussion and I will make myself available at your first convenience.

Thank you for you review and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely

Joan Jobseeker
Enclosure

Basic Cover Letter 2

Know what to include in your cover letter by fully understanding the purpose of the cover letter.

Use these well written sample cover letters to help you craft your own persuasive and professional cover letter.

A comprehensive cover letter template to complete with your own details.

Decide which is the most suitable cover letter format for you to use.

Powerful phrases for closing a cover letter.

Tips on how to create a cover letter that gets the reader's attention.

Easy-to-use sample email cover letter

Sample letter of intent for employment will help you land the critical first interview.

Are you sending a cold cover letter? View sample networking cover letters.

These job descriptions will help you to include all the necessary information in your cover letter.

All the resume examples you need to adapt for your own use.

Job Interviews > Sample Cover Letters > Basic Cover Letter

Use the search box to find exactly what you are looking for.

To Top of Page

Sample Basic Cover Letter and Resume

Ms. Stewart's documents are quite lackluster, and aren't likely to get her selected for an interview. Both the letter and the resume are quite generic and fail to demonstrate how she is uniquely qualified, or how her skills match the reader's needs. While she's had some marketing experience, she fails to explain how this experience relates to an internship with a television station. Furthermore, the attitude in her letter is quite arrogant. It's better to show how you are qualified rather than tell the reader that you are qualified.

459 Oak Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70765
Phone: 225-555-3244
Email: MStewart@lsu.edu

WLFT TV 4
13567 Plank Road
Baker, LA 70714

Dear Mr. Ryder

I am interested in an internship or part time job with your company.  I enclose my resume as a first step in exploring the possibilities of employment with WLFT TV 4.

My most recent experience has been as a telemarketing operator at Progold Products.  I am responsible for the overall telemarketing of the company.  In addition, I set up and verify most appointments made for the company.

I am currently enrolled in my Junior year at Louisiana State University.  I plan to receive my degree in Marketing.  With an internship with your company, I will gain the hands-on experience I need to ensure a strong work experience in a future marketing career.

I would like to ask for an interview with your company.  Please contact me, and let me know an appropriate time.

Sincerely,
 
 

Martha Stewart

Enclosure

 


Martha Stewart
459 Oak Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70765
Phone 225-555-3244
E-mail MStewart@lsu.edu

Objective:   A marketing and sales internship where I may expand my knowledge of sales/marketing concepts
 

Education:   Bachelor of Science of Marketing, December 2000Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA

Overall G.P.A.  3.1/4.0         Major G.P.A.   3.4/4.0
 

Relevant Classes Marketing - Principles of Marketing, Consumer Analysis and  Behavior Finance - Business Law Accounting - Financial, Managerial

Work experience:   Progold Products, Prairieville, LA 1996 - present
Telemarketing operator

Responsible for all telemarketing operations

Responsible for setting up 80% of company's appointments. Occasionally responsible for sales orders

Pelican Point, Gonzales, LA 1999 - present   Bartender/Waitress

Balance approximately $2,000 on a nightly basis

Disney Store, Baton Rouge, LA 1997-1998 Sales Associate

Assisted customers with purchases

Balanced approximately $3,000 on a nightly basis

Computer Skills: Working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, and Power Point