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Comprehensive Guide to Crafting a Harvard Cover Letter Template

In the competitive world of job applications, a well-crafted cover letter can make a significant difference. Harvard University's prestigious reputation makes its cover letter template a sought-after resource for job seekers aiming to stand out. This comprehensive guide delves into the structure, elements, and best practices for creating a compelling cover letter using the Harvard model.

What is the Harvard Cover Letter Template?

The Harvard cover letter template is a structured format endorsed by Harvard University. It's designed to help applicants present their qualifications, experience, and enthusiasm effectively. By adhering to this template, you enhance your chances of making a positive impression on hiring managers and potential employers.

Why Use the Harvard Cover Letter Template?

  1. Professionalism: The template ensures your cover letter adheres to professional standards, reflecting well on you as a candidate.
  2. Clarity: Its structured format promotes clarity, making it easy for hiring managers to identify key qualifications.
  3. Efficiency: Streamlines the writing process, helping you focus on content rather than formatting.

Key Components of the Harvard Cover Letter Template

1. Header

The header includes your contact information and the date. It's important to use professional formatting and layout.

John Doe
123 Main Street
City, State, ZIP
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (123) 456-7890


2. Employer’s Contact Information

Add the employer’s contact details below the date, formatted professionally.

Hiring Manager's Name
Company Name
Company Address
City, State, ZIP

3. Salutation

Address the hiring manager directly to personalize the cover letter.

Dear [Hiring Manager's Name],

4. Introduction

The introduction should be compelling, stating the position you're applying for and how you discovered the opportunity.

I am writing to express my interest in the [Job Title] position at [Company Name] as advertised on [Where You Found the Job Posting]. With my background in [Relevant Field or Experience], I am confident in my ability to make a meaningful contribution to your team.

5. Body Paragraphs

First Paragraph: Reason for Interest

Explain why you're interested in the position and the company. Highlight your passion and alignment with the company’s goals.

I am particularly drawn to [Company Name] because of your commitment to [Company's Unique Value or Mission]. The opportunity to contribute to [Specific Project or Aspect of the Company] excites me, as it aligns perfectly with my career aspirations and values.

Second Paragraph: Relevant Experience

Detail your relevant skills and experiences. Use specific examples to illustrate your qualifications.

In my previous role at [Previous Company Name], I [Describe a Key Responsibility or Achievement]. This experience honed my skills in [Relevant Skill], [Relevant Skill], and [Relevant Skill], all of which are crucial for the [Job Title] position. For instance, [Provide a Specific Example of an Achievement or Responsibility].

Third Paragraph: Contribution to the Company

Explain how your background and skills can benefit the company. Show that you have researched the company and understand their needs.

My extensive background in [Relevant Field] has equipped me with the expertise to [Specific Contribution]. I am particularly eager to leverage my skills in [Skill] to help [Company Name] achieve [Specific Company Goal or Challenge]. My track record of accomplishing [Specific Achievement] makes me confident in my ability to contribute significantly to your team.

6. Closing Paragraph

Reiterate your interest and express a desire for an interview. Thank the hiring manager for their time.

Thank you for considering my application. I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to discuss how my background, skills, and certifications can be of benefit to [Company Name]. I look forward to the possibility of discussing my application in further detail. Please feel free to contact me at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email Address] to schedule an interview.

John Doe

7. Signature

End with a professional closing, leaving space for your handwritten signature if submitting a hard copy.


John Doe

Tips for Writing an Effective Harvard Cover Letter

  1. Customize for Each Job: Tailor each cover letter to the specific job and company. Highlight experiences and skills that best match the job description.
  2. Keep it Concise: Aim for one-page. Be clear and to the point.
  3. Proofread: Ensure there are no typos or grammatical errors. Consider asking someone else to review it.
  4. Be Specific: Use quantifiable achievements and specific examples to demonstrate your qualifications.


A compelling cover letter can set you apart in a crowded job market. By following the Harvard cover letter template, you ensure a polished, professional presentation that highlights your strengths and enthusiasm for the role. Remember to customize the content for each application, maintain clarity and conciseness, and meticulously proofread before submission.

Craft your cover letter with care, and you're more likely to capture the attention of hiring managers and secure the job you desire.

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