A cover letter is either a formal letter or a formal e-mail that is sent to an employer in order to introduce and highlight your resume. Cover letters provide an introduction to you and your resume and create a first impression for employers. They identify the position you are seeking, connect your skills and talents to the position and can be a place where you can demonstrate why you are the ideal candidate or why you are uniquely qualified for the job. Follow these quick tips to get started.
Cover Letter Quick Tips
- Follow a business letter format.
- Target your cover letter to a particular position and organization.
- Address it to a specific individual; avoid terms like “Dear Sir or Madam”. As a last resort use “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Search Committee”.
- Talk in terms of what you can contribute to the organization, not how the position or organization will benefit you.
- Convey focused career goals and demonstrate how you are the right fit for this position.
- Be honest and always be able to back up your claims.
- Keep it brief, free of errors, and professional — one full page is probably too much.
1st Paragraph — Statement of Intent
Explain clearly what type of job you are seeking and express interest in the organization. If you are responding to a specific opening, indicate how and where you learned of the opportunity and/or the organization.
2nd Paragraph — Summary of Qualifications
Explain why you are a good fit for the organization. Mention one or two key qualifications and cite specific examples of your experiences, skills and accomplishments related to the position. Tell why the organization, location, or the type of work appeals to you.
3rd Paragraph — Request for Action
Close by making a specific request for an interview. You can indicate that you will follow up with a phone call or email and if you make this claim, be sure to follow through. Thank the reader for taking the time to consider you.
Cover Letter Samples
- Business Major Cover Letter
- Engineering Major Cover Letter 1
- Engineering Major Cover Letter 2
- Teaching Cover Letter