Cover Letter

    Job seekers frequently send a cover letter along with their curriculum vitae or application for employment as a way of introducing themselves to potential employers and explaining their suitability for the desired position. Employers may look for individualized and thoughtfully written cover letters as one method of screening out applicants who are not sufficiently interested in their position or who lack necessary basic skills. Cover letters are typically divided into three categories:

    • The application letter or invited cover letter which responds to a known job opening
    • The prospecting letter or uninvited cover letter which inquires about possible positions
    • The networking letter which requests information and assistance in the sender's job search

    Explain why you are sending a resume.

    Don't send a resume without a cover letter. Don't make the reader guess what you are asking for; be specific: Do you want a summer internship opportunity, or a permanent position at graduation; are you inquiring about future employment possibilities?

    Tell specifically how you learned about the position or the organization

    a flyer posted in your department, a web site, a family friend who works at the organization. It is appropriate to mention the name of someone who suggested that you write

    Convince the reader to look at your resume.

    • The cover letter will be seen first.
    • Therefore, it must be very well written and targeted to that employer.

    Call attention to elements of your background

    education, leadership, experience that are relevant to a position you are seeking. Be as specific as possible, using examples.

    Reflect your

    attitude, personality, motivation, enthusiasm, and communication skills.

    Provide or refer to any information specifically requested

    in a job advertisement that might not be covered in your resume, such as availability date, or reference to an attached writing sample.