Cover Letter Preparation
A cover letter serves as a bridge connecting the resume you send to the specific job opportunity you’re applying for, therefore, there isn’t a “one size fits all” letter. Each letter you submit should be unique, addressing specific requirements that are listed in a job posting and should clearly explain why you are interested in that job at that company. While every cover letter you submit will vary in content, the following topics should be included in each:
If you are sending your cover letter, either via mail, email or attaching as a document on an online application site, your cover letter heading should match your resume exactly. Consistency between documents is important, so use the same style and format on both your resume and cover letter.
You should also include the following:
- The date you are submitting the letter;
- The address of the company, including the specific department and, if known, the individual responsible for hiring the position;
- An address line to a specific person. After researching, if you are unable to find an individual to address the letter to, use a non-gendered title such as “Hiring Manager” or “[Company Name] Team.”
Contents of the Letter
First paragraph – Why them?
When crafting your opening paragraph, ask yourself these questions:
- Who are you?
- How did you find out about this position?
- Why are you interested in this position?
- Briefly, why are you qualified for this position?
- What specifically interests you in this position?
Second Paragraph – Why you?
When crafting your second paragraph, ask yourself these questions:
- Why are you the most qualified candidate for this position?
- What specific experiences have you had to show this?
- What specific skills do you possess, where/how did you learn them?
Third Paragraph – Next Steps
When crafting your closing paragraph, make sure to do the following:
- State what you want. Are you looking for an interview? Would you like to discuss this opportunity further? Be explicit with your intentions.
- Reference other attachments you have submitted.
- Thank the individual or team that you are writing your letter to. Express excitement in the opportunity.
Looking for additional guidance on your cover letter? Stop by the Career Development Center to set up an appointment today!