Career Services

Cover Letter

  • Below are some tips for writing a great cover letter. If you would like your cover letter reviewed by a staff member, please stop by during our Drop-In Hours.

    Consider your cover letter as a tool used to market yourself and show how your skills match the job's responsibilities. Submit a focused, professional, and customized cover letter for each position you apply to in the same organization, unless otherwise instructed.

    Cover Letter Format

    • Heading - (name & contact info)- should be the same heading that is on your resume, your "letterhead"
    • Date
    • Name of Individual, Title
    • Name of Company
    • Street Address or P.O. Box Number
    • City, State, Zip Code

    Dear (research who to send your letter to):

    First Paragraph– Get the reader's attention. State the purpose of writing the letter. State the position you are seeking, the company, why you are writing, and how you learned of the position. Briefly state your qualifications (education, experience, skills, etc.) of which you will go into more detail in the next paragraph.

    Second Paragraph– Keep the reader's attention. What do you have to offer the company? Indicate how your qualifications meet the company's/position's expectations. Be specific about what skills or related experience you have to offer them. Focus on job related skills, class projects, accomplishments, etc. in relation to the job. Don't just restate what is on your resume.

    Third Paragraph– Describe your interest in the organization. Show the employer that you have researched the company and know about their products or endeavors. Briefly explain why you are interested in working for them and how you can contribute to their goals.

    Final Paragraph– Conclusion. Indicate what you hope the next step will be and make sure you include your phone number and email address in this final paragraph. Include a summary statement of your qualifications and interest. Be sure to thank the employer for their time and consideration.

    (your signature)
    If you are sending your documents electronically, scan a copy of your signature to place here.
    Full name typed out

    Cover Letters Do's And Dont's

    • DO keep your cover letter to 4-5 brief paragraphs.
    • DON'T go over 1-page.
    • DO use enthusiastic, polite, confident, and professional language.
    • DO be consistent with your resume. Your paper, font, and resume heading should match your cover letter.
    • DO talk about what you can do for the company, but DON'T sound arrogant.
    • DO show confidence in yourself, your skills, and your enthusiasm for the company/position.
    • DO use action verbs when describing your related experience or skills and abilities.
    • DON'T bluff.
    • DO PROOFREAD!! Make sure you give it to others for their review also.

    Cover Letter Tips

    Submitting your information electronically?

    When uploading or emailing your information make sure you attach both a cover letter and a resume.

    Be mindful of the format that they require and how your file will appear on their computer (PDF, Word, etc)

    If there is space for text in an email, address the recipient professionally and let them know that you have attached documents (DOUBLE CHECK that you have attached the documents)

    Don't know who to address your information to?

    Always address your cover letter to the individual that is receiving your information. If you don't know, call the company. Ask the receptionist for the appropriate person to which your correspondence should be addressed.

    Researching a company?

    Researching a company helps you identify whether or not the company aligns with your values and professional goals.

    Ways to research a company are

    • Searching their web page (mission, values, awards, etc)
    • Scheduling Informational interview with a current. employee
    • News Search

    By researching the company to which you are applying, you will be better equipped to identify why you would be a good match with their company. The knowledge you gain from this information will prepare you to speak about the similar qualities you possess and those that you can bring to the company in your cover letter and interview.

    Cover Letter Resources