Cover Letters

Female student speaking with female career services staff member about creating a cover letter

Cover letters introduce you to a potential employer, indicating your interest in their open position.  They are 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, each cover letter should be written specifically for each individual organization.

For more information see the Cover Letter and Other Job Search Correspondence Guide (PDF)

Basic Cover Letter Format

Your Return Address
City, State Zip
Email Address (PROFESSIONAL)

Date (Month Day, Year)

Direct Contact Name
Employer/Company Name
City, State Zip

Dear (Use contact name, or Hiring Manager),

Body of letter should contain 3-4 paragraphs.

Paragraph 1 should identify your interest in applying for a specific job and how you heard about it.

Paragraph 2 should generate the reader’s interest in you by referring to an enclosed resume and include additional information, expanding upon your qualifications and there connection to the position.

Paragraph 3 should be short, positive, and ask for action without being overly aggressive or “pushy” in tone. Example: “I look forward to meeting with you soon, to further discuss how my skills and experience will benefit your team.”

Complimentary Closing

Your Name and Signature

Enclosure (Resume)

Remember to...

  • PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD (maybe even have someone else look it over)!
  • Save as a PDF (if possible)
  • If printing a hardcopy, use high-quality, standard 8 ½ x 11 paper
  • Use a plain font in 11 or 12 point type, for easy reading
  • Use BUZZWORDS (taken directly from job description)
  • ALWAYS be professional and positive
  • Focus on information that is relevant to the employer and job
  • Quantify your results when possible