Cover Letter Guidelines


Career Services' Cover Letter Handout (pdf)

When sending a resume to an employer, either to apply for a job or to inquire about positions, enclose a cover letter as your introduction. A cover letter is used to state why you are writing, what interests you about the employer or the position, and what skills and background might fit the company's needs.  Letters are typed and mailed or e-mailed, along with the resume.

Sample Cover Letter

Your Address
City, State Zip code


Name of Person
Organization Name
City, State Zip code

Dear Mr./Ms. (Insert Name) The first paragraph should indicate what position you are interested in and how you heard about it. Use the names of contact persons, if appropriate, or references to your sources of information. (Sample entry follows)

Arthur Jones, Professor of Electrical Engineering at Cal Poly and formerly a senior design engineer at LSI Logic, suggested that I contact you concerning a summer internship in your division. I have heard about the very positive working environment at LSI and your progressive approach to meeting the needs of your client community. Joining such a forward thinking company this summer would be very exciting.

The second paragraph should relate your experience, skills and background for the position. Highlight the specific skills and competencies that could be useful to the company. (Sample entry follows) As a junior Electrical Engineering student at Cal Poly, with an emphasis in analog design, I have completed courses in Electric Circuit Analysis, Electronic Devices and Manufacturing and Integrated Electronic Circuits. Teamwork skills have been developed through class projects, and leadership through serving as President of Tenaya Residence Hall. This past spring I completed a design project working with CBDS which was a valuable experience.

The third paragraph should indicate your plans for follow-up contact and that your resume is enclosed. (Sample entry follows) Although the enclosed resume provides a good summary of my background and experience, I would like to arrange to meet with you to discuss any positions you may have available and my qualifications for them. I will call your office next week to schedule an appointment. Thank you for your time.


(Sign name)

Your Name (typed)


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