Writing a Cover Letter

When applying for a professional position, your resume should always be accompanied by a cover letter. Resumes and cover letters are flexible documents and should be adapted to highlight your particular skills or experiences depending on what job you are applying to. The order in which you present this information can and should vary as well. Use this video on how to write a cover letter to get started. 

When writing a cover letter, remember to:

  1. Use resume paper with a matching envelope
  2. Always type the cover letter
  3. Use spell-check and reread several times to avoid grammatical errors
  4. Be sure to include examples that are relatable to the position
  5. Do NOT use negative language

Follow these general guidelines when writing a cover letter:

PARAGRAPH 1:

  • State which position you are applying for, and how you found out about it.
  •  Express what is attracting you to work for this organization and in this position.

** Arouse the reader’s interest in reading more about your qualifications

PARAGRAPH 2:

  • Give detailed information about how your qualifications fit with the position’s responsibilities.
  • Use key words from the job description to make the connection between the employer’s needs and your skills.
  • Include information about academics, job experience, and/or personal attributes relevant to the position.

PARAGRAPH 3:

  • Summarize your qualifications.
  • Refer the reader to your enclosed resume.
  • Mention your interest in an interview.
  • Thank the reader for considering you for a position at their company.

See an example of a cover letter

Still having trouble? See and listen to our Resume and Cover Letter 101 presentation (PPTX)!

Interested in applying to a specific company, but they don't have and positions posted in a certain area? Write a letter of interest (DOCX) to express why you would like to work for them!

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