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Cover Letter Structure

 
Cover Letters
 
Many internships, employment opportunities and other applications request a cover letter.  Whenever information is requested, it obviously needs to be included.  Sometimes referred to as a Letter of Application or Letter of Intent, the Cover Letter is very important.
 
In a competitive job market, a strong Cover Letter gets attention.  Each Cover Letter should be a unique and customized, type-written document.  Distributing generic cover letters to dozens of employers rarely yields positive results.  Think of the letter as an opportunity for you to expand on your résumé.  It also allows you an opportunity to express your interest in, and qualifications for, the position.
 
Basic Template:
 
Your Personalized Heading from Your Résumé - (centered at the top of the letter, the rest of the letter is all left-justified)

 
Date you are mailing the letter (spell out the month)
 
Contact Person (Try to find a specific name, but at least indicate a position title)
Title of Contact
Company Name
Address
 
Dear Mr./ Ms./ Dr. (Contact Person):
 
Introduction - (3 - 4 sentences) - Why you have chosen this employer?

  • State the purpose for your letter in a way that grabs the attention of the recruiter.
  • State the title of the position and job ID number in which you are interested.
  • Mention the name of the person who referred you to the job.
  • Indicate how you learned about the opening and why it interests you.
  • State your degree, major, college and graduation date.

Body - (1 - 2 paragraphs) - Why the employer should choose you?

  • Sell yourself!! The purpose of the cover letter is to impress the reader enough for you to be invited for an interview.
  • Discuss what you know about the company and what you can bring to the table.
  • Emphasize your accomplishments, skills and experiences that are the most interesting and relevant to the position to which you are applying.
  • Point out your related experience and special training. (This is not only work experience.  It can include in-depth class projects, volunteer experience, etc)

Closing - (2 - 4 sentences) - Your conclusion

  • Reiterate your interest in the position and company
  • Indicate that you would like to meet the employer, and that you will telephone to see if the employer needs any additional information
  • Thank the employer and list your best contact information
 
Sincerely/Respectfully/Cordially,
 
 
Your Full Name Signature
Your Full Name Typed Below Your Signature

Cover Letter Tips

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Here are some good tips to help you write an effective cover letter. Stop by our office to have a career advisor professionally review your cover letter before you submit it for a job or internship. Remember, we are here to help!


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