Stand Out Through Your Cover Letter

A cover letter is your opportunity to demonstrate to an employer your fit and enthusiasm for the role. Simply by taking the time to write a tailored cover letter, you are showing the employer that you are an eager applicant. A well-written will show the employer how your experience and skills connect with the job description.

 

Key Points

  • Tailor your letter to the position. Each cover letter should be tailored to the position and organization to which you are sending it. Keep in mind that the cover letter is often a prospective employer’s first impression of you. 
  • Be clear. Your cover letters should clearly and succinctly connect 2-3 of your key qualifications to the job description. 
  • Show, not just tell. Use specific examples to show the employer how you gained each qualification.
  • Keep it short. Your cover letter should be no longer than one page and should include your contact information at the top, the date, and the organization’s address. 
  • Proofread. Proofread your letter multiple times to make sure there are no typos and that details such as the organization name and position title are correct. Have your cover letter reviewed by 1-2 others for both content feedback and another layer of proofreading.

 

How to Write a Strong Cover Letter

Though each cover letter should be tailored to the position and organization to which you are sending it, every letter will contain the same components. The goal is to motivate the reader to invite you for an interview and the best way to do that is to write a unique letter that focuses on that specific position and organization. That said, you will likely be able to reuse examples across letters.

Follow the steps below to write a strong cover letter. Use this worksheet to help you plan and develop your resume content. 

Drop-In Sessions

Once you have a draft of your cover letter, stop by our office during weekly drop-in hours for a 15-minute cover letter review. No appointment needed!

Hours:
Monday–Friday
12:00–4:00 p.m.

Visit Us

 

Formatting Your Cover Letter

Your Street Address
City, State, Zip Code

Date

Name of Person, Title
Company/Organization
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear _______:

Introduction: Explain why you are writing and how you heard about the opening (if applicable). Mention the job title by name. If you have a personal connection to the organization, mention that person’s name. In 1-2 sentences, demonstrate your knowledge of the organization and why you want to work there. Based on your research, what is something unique about this organization that appeals to you? Convey your excitement and genuine interest in the organization and the opportunity to work for them. Briefly explain why you are a good match—the skills/experiences you bring that you will elaborate on in the next couple paragraphs.

2-3 Body Paragraphs: Cover the 2-3 skills or qualifications you identified from the job description. This is where you will spend the most time creating content. Using examples from your resume (without repeating your resume verbatim), tell a brief story about the experiences that best qualify you for the role.

Closing: Restate in one sentence your enthusiasm for the role and how you can add value to their organization. Then write out your calls to action (share how they can contact you, politely request an interview, thank the employer for their time, and refer them to your attached resume.) 

Sincerely,

Your Name
Enclosure / Attachment

 

Career Field-Specific Cover Letter Tips

From the Career Center Blog
Yes, You Should Write A Cover Letter  Link to article
You’ve spent time painstakingly updating, formatting, reviewing, and revising your resume and now you’re ready to click “submit” on that
March 03, 2021
BCCareerCenterTeam
Five Mistakes You’re Making on Your Cover Letter  Link to article
The cover letter can be a tricky part of the job/internship application process. Don’t let it be a barrier between
September 25, 2020
BCCareerCenterTeam
What to Expect at Virtual Drop-In Hours  Link to article
The Career Center is excited to help you during virtual drop-in hours. Our drop-in hours are a great way to
September 10, 2020
BCCareerCenterTeam