Cover Letter

Cover letters have become more and more important. The purpose of a cover letter is to communicate your skills and goals specific to the position and employer. The cover letter is an opportunity to shine.

Cover letters allow you to:

  • Make a good first impression and entice the employer to look at your resume
  • Explain your interest in the position and your qualifications
  • Tell the employer which job you’re interested in and why you are a good fit
  • Show your excitement for, and knowledge of, the organization and position
  • Take a moment and check out a sample Cover Letter

Make sure your cover letter:

  • Is free of typos and grammatical errors
  • Addresses the job and position specifically. Do not be generic – Employers can tell
  • Is read by someone else for a second opinion. It’s easy to miss your own errors
  • Uses Standard Business Format
    • Everything is left-aligned
    • List your contact information, date, and their contact information at the top of the page
    • Instead of indentations between paragraphs, use a blank line
    • Leave 4 blank lines between your ending salutation and your typed name (when printing out and signing, only one space when sending electronically)

Structure of a Cover Letter

The cover letter is no more than one page and typically contains four paragraphs:

  1. “Why are you writing to me?” Tells the employer where and when you heard about the opening
  2. “What’s special about you?” Indicate how your skills meet their need
  3. “Why do you want to work here?” Use knowledge gained from researching them and describe your interest in the company and express your passion for the position you are applying for.
  4. “What’s next?” Close the letter indicating how you may be reached

Salutation Tips

Find the name of the person who is making the hiring decision and address the cover letter to him/her. When you do not have a specific name to which you can address your cover letter, try one of these options:

  • Dear Search Committee
  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • Re: Position Title Applying for

Additional Tips

  • Always spell check your letters!
  • Include your return address, telephone number and e-mail address
  • Date your letters
  • Include the name, title and address of the recipient
  • Always tailor your cover letter to the specific job for which you are applying
  • Visit Career Services for a critique before you send your application
  • Take a moment and check out a sample Cover Letter

Resources for Job Success!

Bears Career Connection Log In Resume CreatorReacher Employment DaysJob and Internship Fairdiscover youlinkedin