Career Services  
Writing a Cover Letter?

Match the paper and font style to your resume.
Address the letter to a specific individual. Call to request the name and title of the person hiring for the position. As a last resort, you may direct the letter to someone with a specific job title such as “Director of Human Resources.”

Sound positive and confident in your letter and write an attention-getting introduction.

Be very clear about the position you are applying for and point out how you are uniquely suited for the job by listing relevant qualities.

Focus on the needs of the employer and how hiring you will lead to higher production and greater efficiency.

Tailor your letter around the question, “how will the employer benefit by hiring you?” Use the position announcement and company literature for clues about what to stress.

Add power by using facts, examples, or evidence.
For example, the statement “can initiate and accomplish tasks with little direction” has no credibility until back-up with an example: “independently began operation of organization’s website.”

Paint an accurate picture of yourself. Don’t exaggerate or lie.

Conclude your letter by informing the employer of your intent to contact him/her within the next few weeks and make the follow-up call once you can assume the resume has been received.

Make sure your letter is PERFECT-no typos, misspellings, or factual errors. Have someone proofread the letter before you send it out.

Cover Letter Mistakes

Spell everything out (St. Ave, Cir etc). It looks more professional.

Don’t address your letter “To Whom It May Concern.”

If gender is unclear, address it to their position. Ex: “Dear Human Resource Manager.”

Don’t handwrite or type over an old resume or letterhead to make corrections.

Don’t use a sticky note as a cover letter.

Don’t handwrite your cover letter.

Limit creativity. Business letters should be conservative.

Watch the length of the letter. The biggest marketing mistake is trying to say too much. It should only be 3-4 paragraphs long with 4-5 sentences in each paragraph.

Don’t make the font size to small. If your reader can’t read it-they won’t.

Don’t forget to include your phone number and email.

Don’t forget to sign your name, and your name should be typed below your handwritten signature.

Don’t forget to enclose your resume.

Sample Cover Letter


Your Present Address
City, State, Zip Code

Mr/Ms. Name
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mr/Ms. Name:

This paragraph should be brief (3-4 sentences) and to the point. Name the position you are applying for and indicate how you learned of the opening. If an article, event, or experience led you to make this contact this is a good place to make that indication. Briefly explain why you are interested in the position and what you know about the company.

The body of your letter should be one or two paragraphs. Select qualifications and skills that relate to the job. Give concise evidence of your functional skills and the qualities you possess. Include qualifications the job requires to facilitate the task of matching you to the job.

This is your closing paragraph. Be specific with your actions. Make a point to ask for an interview or indicate that you will be in touch in the near future to see if an appointment can be arranged. Thank your reader for their time and consideration.


(Your Signature)

Your typewritten name

Enclosure (Indicates your resume is in the envelope with your letter)