Career Services

Cover Letter Writing

Your cover letter is a crucial part of your communication with an employer. It conveys a great deal about your skills, personality, and professionalism. Your cover letter is often seen as an example of your work. It persuades the employer that you are a good match for the position and that they should interview you. Make sure you are as careful with your cover letter as you are with your resume.

Each cover letter must be relevant to the reader; its content should be customized to the needs of each employer. Before you sit down to write your cover letter, assess the employer’s requirements and needs—look at the job description, the company website, and speak with people familiar with the company. Address the most important considerations first and support them with examples.

Show Your Interest

  • Keep a balance between professionalism and friendliness.
  • Address the cover letter to a particular person whenever possible. Tailor your cover letter to the reader to show that you are interested in the organization and have done your research.

Highlight One or Two of Your Most Significant Accomplishments or Abilities

  • Give concrete examples of your abilities and skills.

Be Brief

  • Keep your sentences and paragraphs short. Break larger sentences & paragraphs into two.
  • Ensure that the letter addresses relevant points—skills, abilities, education, and experience.

Be Persuasive

  • State why you are writing.
  • Emphasize what you offer the employer; supplement and support your resume.

Use a Positive Tone

Use Powerful Action Verbs

Organize Your Information

  • Highlight your most relevant experience to lend strength to your letter.
  • Adhere to the universal format, style, and etiquette of standard business writing and use 8 ½” x 11” paper.
  • Check your work carefully for grammar and spelling. It is a good idea to have someone else proofread it.
  • Include your personal information (name, address, zip code, email, and telephone).
  • Always send a letter with your resume, never a resume alone. Cover letters and resumes are companion pieces, which complement each other. Cover letters are your chance to talk to the employer or elaborate on a resume point.