Cover Letters

What is a cover letter?

Cover letters introduce you to a potential employer and allow you to express interest in their open position. They’re sent to employers along with your resume, giving you an opportunity to offer further insight into your personality through your writing style and communication skills.

If you are applying for multiple positions, you should write a cover letter customized to each individual position. This is one of the best ways you can stand out as a candidate.

Parts of a cover letter

  • Header: Use the same header and contact information as your resume to maintain consistent branding. Include the address of the employer, and always address your cover letter to a specific person when possible.
  • Paragraph one: Express what position you’re applying for. Provide a brief statement of your enthusiasm and qualifications for the position.
  • Paragraph two: Connect your experiences to the qualifications for the position in greater detail. Identify the main attributes or skills the employer wants (usually listed in the job description), and explain how you possess them. This is the place to show why you’re the best candidate for the position.
  • Paragraph three: Why are you drawn to working with this company? This is the place to show that you’ve done your research. Maybe you like the mission statement of the company, or maybe you saw something about them in the news recently. Be specific.
  • Paragraph four: Thank the reader for their time and consideration. Reiterate your interest in the position.

Cover letter examples

Your next steps

Once you have a draft of your cover letter(s), we recommend having them reviewed by a member of the Career Services team. It’s always helpful to have someone else look at your work! Email a copy to or make an appointment with us on Handshake.

For grammar tips and writing help, contact the Tutoring and Learning Center.