FIRST PARAGRAPH OR INTRODUCTION: ACTS AS BASIS OR PURPOSE OF THE LETTER
- Briefly introduce yourself (“I am a graduate student at Purdue University’s Daniels School of Business interested in...”).
- Do not include your name; it is obvious who you are because you will sign the letter.
- State the position for which you are applying, including position number if available and exact title.
- Indicate where you learned of the opportunity or what prompted you to write.
- If you are trying to set up an informational meeting to learn about the organization or trends in the field, state that you would appreciate an opportunity to talk with an organization representative about these issues.
- Transition to the second paragraph with a closing sentence that may reference what qualifies you for the position, what intrigues you about the company and/or how you fit with company goals.
SECOND PARAGRAPH OR BODY: SUPPORTS YOUR CLAIMS FOR BEING THE RIGHT CANDIDATE FOR THIS POSITION/ORGANIZATION
- Make a concise and focused case for how your experience, interests and skills fit the employer’s needs.
- Thoroughly research the company or organization and position description.
- Identify key words within the position description — skills and requirements — that will help you match the position and organization to your background and experiences.
- Avoid merely reciting your resume but provide enough interest for the reader to want to examine your resume for detailed information on your experiences.
- Emphasize contributions you can make to the position and why it is in the employer’s interest to hire you.
- Do not emphasize what you will get from the position or organization.
THIRD PARAGRAPH OR CLOSING: REITERATES YOUR INTEREST IN THE POSITION/ORGANIZATION
- Thank the individual for considering you as an applicant.
- Provide contact information (typically both email and cell phone) even if shown in the header or at the bottom.
- Demonstrate initiative by stating that you will contact the individual within a specific time period (“I will contact you the week of...to discuss the potential opportunity to interview, answer any questions he/she might have, or discuss the position in greater depth”).
- Include closing sentence to express enthusiasm for company/position and that you look forward to speaking with this individual.