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Cover Letters


Many times an employer's first contact with you - a prospective employee - is your cover letter. It introduces yourself and gives a summary of your experiences. Your letter creates an immediate impression for the employer. Therefore, it must be clear, creative, and concise.

Cover letters generally fall into one of two categories:

  • Application Letter
    • This type of cover letter is used to apply for a position you know is available.
  • Inquiry Letter
    • This type of cover letter is used when you want to inquire about possible openings with a company but you are not aware of any.

Samples of cover letters are located below. Additional samples can be found in Career Services. Please refer to these samples as guidelines. A good cover letter can do as much to help you land a job or internship as a good resume - maybe even more!

Your cover letter or letter of application is just as important as your resume, if not more important. A great deal of effort should also be placed on the development of each cover letter.

  • Include a cover letter with every resume that you send unless a prospective employer specifically states otherwise.
  • Keep your letter to one page and be concise. Get to the point and do not use unnecessary words.
  • Address as many of the qualifications that the position requires as you can in your letter - what they are and proof that you meet them.
  • Anticipate questions the reader may have and answer them.
  • Don't use a form letter. Tailor your letter to each position for which you are applying.
  • Use the same paper for both your cover letter and resume.
  • Use the same language as the job announcement.
  • Always address your letter to a specific individual with correct title and business address. Call the company (human resources or department you are interested in) and get a name if you don't have one.
  • Always sign your letter.
  • Be positive in content, tone, word choice, and expectations. Use an active rather than passive voice.
  • Proofread. Make sure there are no errors.