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Cover Letters

Developing Your Cover Letter

A cover letter introduces you to the employer and prepares the way for your résumé. Cover letters also demonstrate your written communication skills and highlight selected accomplishments and qualifications. Cover letters also provide an opportunity to describe your experience in more detail than a résumé format may allow. Tailor the cover letter to each employer and each specific position. Use the job opening or position description as your guide. Whenever possible, address your letter to a person. Briefly demonstrate knowledge of the company and your fit.

Parts of a Cover Letter

Heading

  • Your contact information
  • Date you are writing
  • Address of the employer

Introduction

  • Greeting
  • Statement of who you are and why you are writing
  • Why you are applying at their company (Be sure to demonstrate knowledge about their organization.)

Body or Argument

  • Description of your most important skills and accomplishments
  • Description of why you are a good fit for the job
  • No longer th an 1-2 paragraphs

Closing

  • What you plan to do after your reader has received your résumé and cover letter
  • Salutation and signature (DON’T forget to sign your letter!!!!)

Formatting Guidelines

  • Center your letter in the middle of the page
  • Single space and leave a space between each paragraph
  • Leave a space between your heading and greeting and leave three spaces between your closing and typed name
  • Sign your name in ink between your closing and typed name.
  • Either align all paragraphs to the left of the page or indent the first line of each paragraph to the right.
  • Use standard margins on all sides of the document.