The principal purpose of a cover letter is to both persuade the employer to review your resume and to spark interest in interviewing you for a position. You will want to send a cover letter with each resume.
The CDO created Developing Your Cover Letter, which contains helpful hints and examples, many of which are reproduced below. You can download the Developing Your Cover Letter guide in Adobe PDF Format.
As with resumes, our career counselors are available to meet with and go over cover letters. Just schedule an appointment online!
The following are suggestions for writing your cover letter:
Explain why you are writing, name the position or type of work for which you are applying and mention how you heard of the opening or organization. If you were referred by someone, state that individual's name. Mention something complimentary about the organization. Be creative.
Explain why you are interested in working for this employer, what you can do for them and specify why you desire this type of work. Emphasize skills or abilities you have that relate to the position for which you are applying. Study the position description (if available) and decide on one or more themes - education, experience, interests, responsibility, accomplishments, etc. - that show persuasively how well you fit the position. If unsure of the position, focus on broader occupational and/or organizational dimensions to describe how your qualifications match the work environment.
State what action you will take to initiate the next step. If you will be visiting the city be sure to inform them of the dates.
Proofread: Have at least two other people PROOFREAD your cover letter. Bring a draft to the CDO during drop-in hours and we'll review it for you. A poorly written cover letter or one with ANY spelling or grammatical errors WILL eliminate you from the competition.
Length and Margins: Limit your cover letter to one page. Use a 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" margin around the top, bottom, and sides of your letter.
Paper: Use resume-quality paper that matches your resume. Paper can be purchased at Printing Services (behind the Post Office) or the Bookstore.
Printer : Use a laser or superb ink-jet printer (laser is always preferable). If you do not have access to a quality printer, take it to Printing Services.