Cover Letters are an essential piece of the job search process and should be utilized whenever possible in conjunction with a Resume. While the Resume serves to provide the reader with "the Facts" regarding your skills and experience it is the Cover Letter that can convey to the reader your motivation for the position and better illustrate how your skills, knowledge and experience would benefit their organization. Your Cover Letter should be personalized to the individual reader whenever possible as this would have the most impact. You may always visit the Career Development Center to have your cover letter reviewed if you so desire.
Please review the outline below: then refer to this Sample Cover Letter for further assistance.
City, State Zip
Contact Person's Name
Title (if known)
Name of The Organization
City, State Zip Code
Dear Contact Person's Name (or Job Title if name is not known):
OPENING PARAGRAPH: Clearly state why you are writing, name the position or the type of work for which you are applying, and of course, mention how you heard of the opening. (If you are writing without the knowledge that an opening is available, then define that you are interested in "potential" openings that may currently be available.)
MIDDLE PARAGRAPH: Explain why you are interested in employment with this employer, and/or indicate your reasons for desiring this type of work. If you possess applicable experience, be sure to point out your particular achievements or other qualifications in this environment or type of employment.
MIDDLE PARAGRAPH: Refer the reader to your attached resume which must positively illustrate your training, skills and experience. DO NOT DUPLICATE RESUME INFORMATION IN THE COVER LETTER, rather "highlight" and add to the important points as to how you can make a significant contribution to this new employer.
CLOSING PARAGRAPH: Use an appropriate closing in your endeavor to acquire an "interview". If you know the contact person's name and telephone, take a pro-active strategy and suggest that you will call to request an appointment in the very near future. If you do not know the contact person's name, ending your letter with a question often encourages a reply. (ie: May we meet soon to discuss this matter further?)
(sign your name here!)
Type out your full name
Write a Resume or Cover Letter
Telling your story is an essential component in working toward a fulfilling career path. Your story will be conveyed in many ways, both written and verbal, and is a great way to form a positive first impression to potential recruiters, graduate schools and other connections. We encourage you to visit your career consultant to have your documents reviewed.
Your resume is one of the best marketing tools you can use in finding a career, and often one of the first things asked of you in the job or internship search process. This is your chance to convey your communication abilities, fit, skills, and strengths for the position you’re targeting. See the resources below to create a well-crafted resume.
Resume Quick Tips [pdf]
Resume Action Verbs [pdf]
Writing your Curriculum Vitae Quick Tips [pdf]
Cover letters are another essential piece to telling your story through professional, written communication. Since your resume will describe your experience in detail, your cover letter will tell the reader exactly why you want the position and provide in-depth examples to back up your experiences.
Cover Letter Quick Tips [pdf]
Online portfolios are a wonderful supplement to a standard resume, often showcasing the visual side of your story. They can be in many forms, including links to your work, visual representations, and videos.
Portfolio Quick Tips [pdf]