Cover Letters

A cover letter serves as the introduction to your resume. It is specific to each position and demonstrates interest in a particular employer or job. It should include expanded information from the resume, and should not repeat things.

Because it is often the first contact with a prospective employer, it should be concise, well-written, and demonstrate effective communication.

The cover letter typically consists of three parts: introduction, body, and closing. Within these three parts, include:
 why you are interested in the organization
 why the organization should be interested in you
 when and how you will contact the organization to follow up

 Capture the reader’s interest
 Tell the reader how you learned of an opening
 If appropriate, mention the name of someone who suggested you apply for the company and/or the job opportunity

 Demonstrate your ability to do the job in 1-3 paragraphs
 Promote your education, experiences, past jobs, internships, and student activities
 Use examples and tell your story
 Illustrate the skills that are related to the position
 Enhance your accomplishments with details, do not repeat what is on your resume

 Indicate next steps, including a plan to follow up with the employer
 Thank the employer for taking the time to consider your application materials
 Close the cover letter with “Sincerely” or “Respectfully”

 Proofread
 Personalize each letter, make every attempt to address each letter to a specific individual
 Limit the cover letter to one page, be concise and compelling
 Avoid overusing the word “I”
 Vary writing style, try to offset long sentences with short ones
 Sign the cover letter
 Use a 10-12 font size
 Use paper and font that match your resume to make a consistent application package
 If including items with the cover letter such as a resume, references or writing samples, use one of the following notations below your name: Enclosure, Encl., or Enc.
 Keep a copy of every letter you send as part of your job search file

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