PURPOSE

  • A cover letter gives the employer a clear understanding of your skills, abilities and why you are a good fit for their position
  • Demonstrates your writing and communication skills
  • Conveys your knowledge of the position, interest in the company, and provides context that your resume alone cannot

DEVELOPMENT

  • Become familiar with the job description and how your experience relates
  • Research the organization to get an idea of how your skills and experiences meet their requirements
  • Keep it concise and direct; ask for what you want and keep the letter to one page
  • Include the title of the position and how you learned about the job
  • Specifically, address how your skills and abilities will add value to the organization and role (tailor the letter specifically to the job description by mirroring keywords in your letter)

EMAIL vs. HARD COPY

  • For a hard copy letter, use the same heading as you have in your resume
  • In an email, the subject line should include your name, the job title, and/or the posting number
  • When emailing your materials, write your cover letter in the body of the email - omit the header, date, and address section; only keep whom the letter is addressed to and the body of the letter 
  • Make sure to include your email address in the body of email when emailing a letter, in case it is forwarded

WHAT TO AVOID

  • Using a generic letter for every position you apply for; be original! Take the time to tailor each cover letter to the particular company and position that you are applying for; be sure to follow the instructions in the job posting, and include any information specifically requested
  • Typos misspelled words and false information – always have someone else proofread before sending
  • Using “To Whom it May Concern”! Research the name of the hiring manager; in a pinch, you can use one of the following salutations: Dear Hiring Manager, Dear Human Resource Manager, Dear Sir or Madam, Dear Hiring Authority, Dear Decision Maker
  • Not following through – tell them when you will be following up, and do it in that timeframe

EXAMPLES

Detailed Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Template

Below you will find cover letter examples paired with respective job descriptions:

 Job Description [Full Time]
 Cover Letter Example [Full Time]
 Job Description [Research Position]  Cover Letter Example [Research Position]
 Job Description [Internship Position]  Cover Letter Example [Internship Position]