A Cover Letter... What's That?

A cover letter is your face to the company. It is addressed to a person at the company when possible and always accompanies your résumé.  It is an opportunity to let your potential employer know more about you than just what is on the résumé.

Use the cover letter to express yourself, your passion for working at the company, and as an example of your writing skills. You want to reflect on how your skills and experiences match the needs and interests of your potential employer, as well as the requirements for the position. Always send a cover letter with your résumé - even if the job description does not specifically say to.

Things to keep in mind as you write a cover letter

  • Research the company of interest.  Find out about the services offered and the logistics of the job so that you can  tailor your letter to that position and company.
  • Focus on what you can do for the employer, not how this job will benefit you as an employee. What makes you stand out from other applicants?
  • The desired length of a cover letter should be one page. You may consider using the same heading on your cover letter as you did on your resume for consistency and style. This can help you stand out in the crowd.
  • Font size should be 10-12 point in Arial or Times New Roman font type consistent with style used on your résumé.
  • Salary Requirements: Visit the Career and Internship Center to review nationwide average salary data for new graduates if you are asked to include this in your cover letter.
  • Print your cover letter on the same bond paper that you used for your résumé.
  • Don't forget to sign your name at the end. Make sure to use either blue or black ink.
  • Neatness counts! Proof well for typing or grammar errors and use only clean copies of your cover letter.

The staff in the Career and Internship Center are happy to provide assistance as you develop your cover letter and provide critical review as needed.  Contact us!