Students

Cover Letters

Most online job applications require a cover letter. Because employers don't get an opportunity to meet you, the cover letter becomes a written substitute for a face-to-face meeting.

"The purpose of a cover letter is to say, 'Hi, let me introduce myself and tell you why I'd like to work for you, your company, or in this role."

Cover letters are much more personal than résumés—the more personal, the better chance of getting attention and landing an interview.

Cover Letter Tips

  • First, describe why you want to work for the company or in a specific position, and/or why you want to live and work in their location.
  • Tell your story; include your related experience and technical skills, along with your communication, teamwork, and leadership abilities.
  • Employers receive hundreds of applications. Don't send a generic cover letter—make a personal connection with people who have the power to give you a job.
  • Use business letter formatting even if you submit electronically or embed in an email.
  • Write and submit a cover letter even if it is not required. It will help you stand out.
  • Harness the power of your cover letter to network. Unsolicited or cold-call cover letters show initiative and a desire to work. Remember, the vast majority of jobs are never posted, they are jobs are often filled by candidates who the company already has a relationship with. Introduce yourself—that person can be you!

Resources and Examples