Cover Letters 101
Cover Letter Videos -- Great cover letter advice from CareerTV.com
Q: Do I Need a Cover Letter? A: Yes
- A cover letter goes hand and hand with a resume. It deserves equal attention.
- A terrific resume might never be read if the cover letter doesn't provide the "hook!”
- Consider the cover letter as your first impression.
- A good cover letter does not repeat your resume, it provides additional information, and highlights your strengths.
- Show that you have done research on the type of work, position and the organization.
Cover Letter Tips
- Use standard 8 ½ x 11 paper, the same paper as your resume, with matching envelopes and letterhead.
- Stick to one page.
- Word process and then check and recheck for spelling, grammar, and typographical errors.
- Address your letter to a specific person with correct title (avoid “To Whom it May Concern”).
- Tailor your letter to a specific position (if possible).
- Write the letter in your own words so it sounds like you – not like something out of a book.
- Visit the Career Services for a cover letter critique.
Cover Letter Construction -- Paragraph 1
- State the reason for the letter.
- Name the specific position or type of work for which you are applying.
- Indicate how you learned of the opening (referral, newspaper, Career Fairs, job posting, etc.).
- State why you are interested in the position/organization.
Cover Letter Construction -- Paragraph 2
- Indicate and briefly illustrate how your academic background and other experiences make you a good candidate.
- Mention relevant skills you have developed through your experiences (summer jobs, volunteer positions, internships, community service, campus leadership and activities, etc.).
- Explain what you can do for the employer (use your knowledge of the organization).
Cover Letter Construction -- Final Paragraph
- Explain your interest in discussing the position or other possibilities within the company/organization.
- Repeat your phone number and/or e-mail address.
- Offer to produce additional information if desired.
- Close with a statement or question that will encourage a response (e.g., you will be in the city on a certain date and would like to set up an interview).
TIP: Don't forget to sign your cover letters.