Craft a Noteworthy Cover Letter

Before you apply for a job, it is critical that your application package, including your cover letter, is the best that it can be. Learn how to write a cover letter that leaves a great impression and makes a potential employer want to know more about you.

On this page:

How to Write a Cover Letter

Get their attention (Paragraph 1)

  • Explain why are you writing this letter.
  • Indicate the position you are applying for and how you learned of the position.
  • If you are “prospecting” to determine if the organization has unpublished opportunities, or acting on a referral from one of your professional friends, indicate how you learned about the organization.
  • Integrate the company research you'd done by explaining why you want to work there.
  • Outline the specific reasons why you are ideal for the position.  
  • Show off your experience!

Make them want to know more. (Paragraph 2)

  • Describe yourself and why you're worth inviting for an interview by demonstrating to the employer how your interests, education and experience fit the requirements described in the position postings. 
  • Show, don’t tell. Use specific examples that illustrate your related skills and experience. Your goal is to set yourself apart from other applicants.
  • If you are prospecting, describe how do you see yourself fitting with this organization.
  • Refer to your resume, but don't list the contents of it. 
  • Emphasize how your variety of experiences and transferable skills that you've gained are connected to the position and will benefit the organization. 

Hint: It's OK to break this into two paragraphs and use bullets!

Make it easy for them to take the next step. (Paragraph 3)

  • Refer to your resume for further details about your experiences and qualifications.
  • Reiterate why you want to work at that specific organization.
  • Offer your contact information.
  • Thank the employer for their time and consideration.

Sincerely,

(Your Signature)

Name

Tips to Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out

  • Customize your cover letter to each employer and each position to demonstrate your interest and that you’ve done your homework.
  • Highlight specific examples from your experiences that demonstrate why you're a match for the position and the employer.
  • Be clear and get to the point.
  • Use the body of the email as your cover letter. Your resume can be an attachment. 
  •  Keep it to one page if possible.
  • Try not to repeat your resume content.
  • Proofread, Proofread, Proofread. Ask family or friends to check for spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Get it reviewed by an expertHint: We are available during a drop-in appointment, Monday through Friday.

Additional Resources

Visit the Career Services website for many great resources, including resume, CV, cover letter and thank you note samples.