University of Pittsburgh

Sample Cover Letter

Your name
Your address
City, State, Zip Code

Today's Date

Addressee's Full Name
Addressee's Title (if applicable)
Name of Firm or Company
Street Address
City, State Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms. Addressee's Last Name:

First paragraph (introduction): tell why you are writing. Your opening sentence should interest the reader, either by saying something about the firm, some connection you have to the work or the workers, or naming someone the reader will know. Introduce yourself and identify the position for which you are applying (associate, summer clerk, extern) and, if applicable, tell how you heard of the vacancy. If you don't know if there is an opening, simply state that you are writing to inquire about the possibility of an opening.

Second paragraph (skills): reveal why you are interested in working for this employer, and what you have to offer in the way of special interests, training and/or experience which would be appropriate to the practice or business involved. Stress capabilities or training which differentiate you from other candidates. If you're writing to an out-of-state firm mention your connection (e.g., undergraduate education, prior work experience, family).

Third paragraph (conclusion): direct the employer's attention to your resume, summarizing your qualifications, and any letters of recommendation or other included documents. Indicate your plans for gaining admission to the appropriate state bar (if you are applying for a permanent position). Pave the way for an interview by indicating when you expect to be in that city or area, or by offering to make yourself available at the employer's convenience. Always close your letters by thanking the individual for his/her consideration.


(leave 4 lines for your signature - in blue or black ink)

Type your name underneath your signature


Revised 09/28/2011 | Copyright 2011 | Site by UMC