A cover letter is an important part of your communication with an employer in your process of searching for a job or an internship.
While the résumé provides an overview of your background, the cover letter gives you the opportunity to highlight those aspects of your background that are most relevant to the position you are seeking.
A good cover letter would encourage the employer to learn more about you by reading your résumé and meeting with you for an interview. It would also present the employer with a sample of your writing skills.
- To introduce yourself to prospective employers, indicate your interest in the company and the position, share your qualifications, and state how you might benefit their business.
- To introduce the real you to the reader by demonstrating personality, characteristics, and strengths.
- To emphasize your experience or education, or both!
- To set your résumé apart from the competition.
- To highlight the relevant information, skills, and accomplishments in the résumé.
- To direct the reader’s attention to the points that you might want the interviewer to focus on.
- It is vital in case you are sending your résumé to a cold contact (i.e. an unfamiliar employer that has no advertised job openings).
- Some employers ask for it as part of the application.
You just cannot afford to settle for a less than perfect presentation of your credentials. This section not only outlines the basic format you should follow when writing cover letters but also shows you how to put the finishing touches on a top-notch product.
Communicate in a professional manner.
Include formal salutations such as Mr. and Mrs.
Casually address the employer.
Address your cover letter to the hiring manager. If the name is not available, then try to research online or call to gather that information.
Risk being perceived as sloppy. It shows that you are either lacking attention to detail or careless.
Proofread before sending your letter to avoid errors.
Risk bad formatting, empty subject lines, and spam.
Put the position you are applying for in the subject line when applying for advertised positions through email.
Call the company multiple times and end up nagging the employer.
Follow the instructions if there are some mentioned on the postings.
Speak negatively of your employment situation or your life in general.
Start by stating the objective of your letter
Use a generic cover letter.
Follow up by calling the company twice maximum, if you are sending an application cover letter, one week after sending it.
Repeat what is in your resume (your cover letter should complement the resume)
Focus on what you can do for the prospective employer than about what the company can do for you.
Always keep a copy of all business correspondence for future reference.
Verify the accuracy of any company information that you mention in your letter.
Be honest and use actual examples to demonstrate your skills and experiences.
Make connections between your experience and the position
Reflect genuine interest in the position you are applying for.
Close your cover letter with a call to action (what you will do next/how you will follow up).
In response to a specific announcement, where a cover letter is requested as part of the application documents. If written well, it increases the chance for an interview appointment.
To potential employers along with the résumé to hunt for possible vacancies. Addressed to the head of the department, in which you are seeking employment.
Thank You Letter
After an opportunity or information interview to express appreciation for time taken and remind the interviewer of your qualifications and reiterate intent in the sought after position. To be sent preferably after 24 hours of the interview to all interviewers.
To inquire about your status if the employer does not respond within the agreed time. It is recommended to include a copy of the résumé as a reminder. The date and location of the interview should be indicated.
To express your appreciation for being selected for the position and confirm your understanding of the job offer and when you will report to work.
Once you accept a job offer, notifying all other employers to whom you have previously applied, requesting to withdraw your employment application.
When rejecting a job offer, in which you tactfully and promptly express your appreciation for the employer’s interest in hiring you for the position, explaining that you have decided not to accept the offer after thoughtful consideration.
In case you are required to decide on a job offer by a specific date that you cannot meet, in which you request to postpone your response date to the employer. Make sure to indicate the timeframe within which you will respond to the employer.
To resign from your current position. The letter is written in a positive tone and submitted to your supervisor giving sufficient notice as stated in your employment contract. A resignation letter is your official notice that formally indicates the date of termination of your employment with the company.
To a professional contact requesting an information interview appointment, not for generating a job interview.
Application to Graduate School
When applying to graduate school, address to the desired university expressing your interest in a specific graduate program. Highlight your strongest qualifications and areas of interest and clarify the program’s contribution towards your career goal.
Meet a Career Advisor
Our career advisors are available to meet with you individually and assist you. They are trained to listen to your needs, help you increase your self-awareness and job market understanding, and coach you in developing a plan to reach your career goals. However, it is up to you to make career decisions, act on your decisions and make your career plan a reality. Confidentiality of personal information, assessment outcomes, and credentials is guaranteed. You can make use of this service as early as your freshman year and throughout your professional career as an alumnus.
You can schedule an advising appointment on your CareerWEB account | Counseling Appointment Section.
Attend a Workshop
The Career Center offers Cover Letters 101 Workshop. For details about the workshops, refer to CareerWEB | Events Section.