What is a cover letter?
A cover letter is sent along with your resume to provide additional information about yourself and how your skills and experience are relevant to the position you are applying for.
What is the purpose of a cover letter?
The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce yourself and summarize your professional background. The cover letter shows the employer or admissions committee how you fit into the position you are applying for.
How long should a cover letter be?
Your cover letter should be a one-page document, usually around 4 paragraphs or 250 to 400 words.
What is the most important thing to include in a cover letter?
You should let the admissions committee know why you are the best candidate for the position. You should answer the question of “Why should I hire this person?” for the admissions committee.
Can I send the same cover letter to all companies?
No, your cover letter should be specific to each position you apply for. While you can maintain the same general structure in your cover letters, you should modify each cover letter to explain why you are interested in each specific position and why you are a good fit for these positions.
Should I include references in my cover letter?
You should not include references in your cover letter unless the company specifically requests that you do so.
Instructions: Fill in your answers to the following sections on a scrap piece of paper. This information will be used to help you develop a professional resume.
Section 1: Contact Information
Your name: ______________________________________________________________________
Your phone number / email: _________________________________________________________
Your Address: ____________________________________________________________________
Section 3: The Date
The date you are sending the cover letter: ______________________________________________
Section 2: Address of the Company
Fill in the information for the person you are sending the letter to.
Company & Address: ______________________________________________________________
Section 3: Opening Paragraph
What is the title of the job you are applying for? _________________________________________
How did you discover the job opening? ________________________________________________
Why are you interested in this type of work? ____________________________________________
What can you provide for the company? _______________________________________________
Section 4: Middle Paragraphs
What is the employer looking for? What are the needs of the company? What skills or characteristics does the company need? List 3 - 5 answers.
What do you have to offer to the company that matches those needs?
What are your top assets for this position, including your skills, characteristics, knowledge, and experience? Why are these assets important?
Section 5: Closing Paragraph
What would you like to happen after your cover letter and resume are read? (Interview, phone call, email, etc.)
Is there any information that they are expecting you to send along with your cover letter? (Resume, salary requirements, references, etc). ________________________________________________________________________________
What next steps will you take after your resume? (Phone call, email, etc.)
Instructions: Once you have filled out the above sections, you can begin formatting your cover letter by entering this information into a document. You can use the tips below to help format your cover letter.