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Cover Letters

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A cover letter should be used as part of a limited, targeted campaign to reach potential employers. In other words, take the time to research and understand a company before committing yourself on paper as a potential employee. Don't send your resume and cover letter in mass-marketing style in hopes of making a potential match. A successful cover letter should be specific and personal.

Writing a Successful Cover Letter

The cover letter should express two important ideas:

  1. What your product can do for your customer (the company)
  2. What your customer will need to do to buy your product

If you are not sure of "your product" (i.e. what differentiates you from the rest of the market?) -- Find out!  Consider your background and take note of areas in which you excel and make that your number one focus in writing the cover letter.

Writing Tips

Each letter should refer to a specific person at a specific company and provide a specific next step that you will be taking.

Parts of a Cover Letter

Opening Paragraph

  • Express interest in the position and organization
  • Share how you learned about the opportunity (especially if referred by an individual)
  • Provide a broad overview of your most relevant experience and education

Middle Section

  • Summarize how your education, experience and personal qualities prepare you for the position
  • Write to persuade the employer to read your resume – without repeating your resume

Closing Paragraph

  • Reiterate your continued interest in the position and organization
  • Specify the next steps (either request in-person meeting or state that you will follow-up by phone)
  • Thank the employer for their consideration

General Tips

Use proper writing etiquette: appropriate greetings, proper grammar, use formal language and include your e-mail/telephone contact information on all messages.

  • Download Template
  • Designed to help you build out each portion of your cover letter. 
  • Remember: BE SPECIFIC to the company and position to which you are applying.

Additional Resources



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