How to Write a Cover Letter - Sample

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How to Write a Cover Letter - Sample - Job Application Candidate

A cover letter is a standard job application document in which you can state your interest in and motivation for a given job opening and the company that advertised for it. Cover letters tend to become less important nowadays however, due to the high quantity of job applications.

Indeed, the curriculum vitae (writing guidelines) may be a much more decisive element, as it allows recruiters to quickly verify whether you match the job’s requirements or not.

So, first of all, make sure that your curriculum vitae clearly shows that your skills, experience and diploma match all the job requirements. The qualifications stated in the job offer may be a good indicator of the selection criteria used by the recruiters. Also, it is important to state the date from which you will be available to start work as precisely as possible.


Although - just as with the curriculum vitae - there is no definite truth on how to make a good cover letter, here are the main lines that may be followed when writing your cover letter:

  1. Keep it short: The cover letter ought to be short (no longer than 1 page at any rate), so as to maximize the chances of its being read. You may briefly describe your career, but make sure you go straight to the point.
  2. Keep it simple: Keep it simple and easy to read. Avoid using complicated or technical terms and going into too much details. Also, even though you may like to discuss your interests in the open position you are applying for, make sure you don’t overstate your enthusiasm for the company.
  3. Mention a mutual contact within the company: Mentioning the name of a mutual contact between you and the employer in the very first sentence of the letter is a plus (but make sure that the person in question is aware of it!). This may contribute to setting you a little apart from other applicants who have not been in contact with the employer at all.
  4. Highlight some particular skills or experience that may represent an advantage in the job you are applying for: You may employ some of the key-words used in the original job offer, in particular if you want to highlight some specific skills or experience that are relevant to the open position.

Let’s summarize: although you may use a pretty much standardized cover letter for all of your applications, certain customization features may still add some value and set you a little apart from other applicants. However, you will have to be careful to make them visible. And once again: keep it short!


Here is a sample cover letter (document) for a graduate student who is applying for an internship in the HR Department of a Swiss-based multinational company.

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