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How to Write a Cover Letter

Whenever a resume is not hand delivered, it should include a cover letter that introduces you and your qualifications. The cover letter also serves as a writing sample. After developing a base cover letter, customize it to each potential employer.

Elements of an Effective Cover Letter:
  • If printing, use block letter format 
  • Address your letter to a specific person or job title. If you don’t have the name of a contact, address your correspondence to “Search Coordinator” and the title of the position for which you are applying.
  • Tips on content:
    • Cover letter Introduction: Following an engaging opening, indicate the role for which you are applying and how you learned about the opportunity.
    • Body: Answer the question, “Why should I hire you?”
      • Identify your skills and qualifications in your pitch.
      • Incorporate keywords from the job posting’s position description.
      • Include why you are interested in working for this employer.
      • Demonstrate that you have researched the organization.
      • Be mindful of paragraph and sentence structure.
      • Use a free online platform like to weed out spelling and grammatical errors. 
  • Your closing 
    • Thank the potential employer for their time.
    • Include next steps such as when you will follow up with them, or that you are waiting to hear from them.
    • Sign off.

Cover Letter Critique

Career Development will perform a thorough review of the content and the format, and make suggestions to strengthen the document, within three business days of submission.

Email the cover letter to in a Word or .PDF format (Word format is preferred).