Cover Letter

Cover Letter - Outline

Cover Letter - Samples

 

What it is

  • A cover letter emphasizes your interest in a specific position and employer

  • Your resume is providing the who, what, when, where for employers, the cover letter provides the why

  • Showcases how your background matches the needs of the employer

  • Cover letters are not long ― A half-page, 3 paragraphs, is best

  • All cover letters should be individually created for a specific job ― Do not use generic templates

  • It’s okay to get personal and provide examples of life experiences if they strongly highlight why you are a great fit for the role. Just remember, while personal information can help you stand out, you do not want to tell someone your whole life story, so use good judgment here

 

Presentation

  • Use simple, direct language and correct grammar

  • Letters should be flawless ― no typos or spelling errors

  • Single-space your letters and put in business letter format (add your heading, the date, who it’s going to, etc.)

  • If printed, use high-quality, white or off-white paper - match resume paper

  • Online/email submission, save and send as a PDF

 

Cover Letter Outline

First Paragraph

  • State why you are writing the employer

  • Indicate the position and how you learned of it

  • A brief sentence that gives your degree, major, college, and graduation date

Middle Paragraph

  • Describe how your education, experience, and personal skills make you a good match for the position

  • Be specific, offering proof of your experiences and clearly describe ways you will contribute

  • Outline one or two specific examples of how your skills and experiences will meet the company’s needs

  • Refer to the organization you are applying to, and discuss what it is about them and the job opportunity that appeals to you ― Why do you want to work for this company specifically?

  • Emphasize your knowledge of the organization (do research) and your familiarity with the field

  • A genuine show of enthusiasm and knowledge will set you apart from those sending generic form letters

Final Paragraph

  • Always thank the employer for considering your application

  • Say what you’ll be doing to follow up on your letter

  • Use an assertive statement explaining what you plan to do

 

Additional Notes

Salary

  • Some employers will request that you include salary requirements in the cover letter
  • Steer clear of stating the specific salary you are seeking

  • However, conduct salary research of the industry and position to learn what the hiring range and common benefits would be

  • Useful websites include: salary.com, simplyhired.com, and payscale.com