Writing a Cover Letter

PDF File

Purpose

  • An introduction to you as a candidate that convinces readers that they should keep reviewing your materials
  • A concise and specific description of how your experience/skills match the job
  • An opportunity to illustrate your knowledge of the position/company and why you want to work there

Structure

  • Introductory paragraph that describes what position you’re applying for, where you found out about it, and why you’re a good fit
  • 1–2 paragraphs that provide specific examples of how your abilities/ skills/experiences match the needs of the company or the job: Focus on how YOU can benefit them, not the other way around. Don’t just summarize what’s on your résumé - go more in depth. Your cover letter and résumé should work together to help the reader form a complete picture of who you are and what you offer.
  • Closing paragraph that reiterates your interest in/ qualification for the position and requests an interview or states your intention to contact employer.

Other tips

  • Don’t use the same cover letter for multiple jobs. Each cover letter should be tailored to the specific job in question.
  • When possible, address the letter to a specific person (as opposed to “To Whom It May Concern”), even if you have to do some research or make a phone call to find the name.
  • Review your writing carefully. Even a small typo can reflect badly on you, particularly when applying for a position in which writing skills and attention to detail are important.