Cover Letters

If you have specific questions or are still lost, contact a Career Coach via email or phone.

Check List

  • Contains no spelling or grammatical erros.
  • Does not exceed one page
  • Clearly states what I'm applying for and how I heard about it
  • Focuses on my skills relevant to the position
  • Demonstrates I've researched the employer and/or position I'm applying for
  • Is addressed to the hiring mangager (or selection committee)
  • Has minimal usage of 'I' statements
  • Is a good reflection of writing abilities
  • Does not restate the experience on your resume. Focus instead on how your skills match the job description.
  • It's all about the employer, so don't focus on yourself. Your cover letter's main goal is to convince the hiring manager that hiring you would benefit the organization.

A cover letter is a one page, 3-4 paragrpah "cover page" for your application and a writing sample for the employer. 
Its content must be interesting and grasp the employer's interest enough to make them want to read your resume.
Even if it is not required, you should submit a cover letter specifically tailored to each position you apply for.

Outline for writing a cover letter

  • Opening paragraph: Statement of Purpose
    • Open with a captivating introductory sentence, name the position you're applying for, and how you learned about the position.
  • Middle paragraph(s): Explanation of Qualifications
    • Part 1: Write about why you're applying to this organization. Include the organization's purpose and/or goals and how the position relates to them.
    • Part 2: Explain why you're a great candidate for the position. List the reasons you're interested in the position and how your relevant skills will allow you to fulfill the responsibilities in the job description.
  • Closing paragraph: Conclusion
    • Begin with one or two strong lines that summarize your qualifications, thank the reader for their consideration, and express your enthusiasm about meeting with them to discuss the opportunity.


Cover Letter Video

Need more help with your cover letter?

  • Check out our Cover Letter Guide and sample cover letters for more in-depth writing guidelines:
  • Attend a workshop taught by a career coach
  • Drop in to the Career Center for resume and cover letter critiques M-F, 8 am - 12pm & 1pm - 5 pm