Cover Letter FAQ

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is an introduction, a sales pitch, and a proposal for further action all in one. It gives the reader a taste of what is to come. A well-written letter is the first opportunity you have to talk to a potential employer.  It is used by many employers as a screening device.

Why use a cover letter?

It is your opportunity to demonstrate that you can organize your thoughts and express yourself clearly and appropriately. It reflects your communication skills and some extend, your personality.

What should a cover letter include?

Your cover letter should include a similar heading, if not the same, that is on your resume.  Include the following parts in the body of your letter:

  • Opening - Tell employers who you are, why you are writing, and how you heard about the organization or specific opening.
  • Sales Pitch - Get right to the point! List in either paragraph from or bullet points - the reasons why the employer should see you as a viable candidate. Start with a statement that provides an overview of your qualifications, then go into each qualification more specifically as they apply to the job opening, using examples you identified before you started writing.
  • Insight - This is the "why them" section of your letter. It is where you interest the reader by commenting on something positive about the organization and letting them know why you are a good fit.
  • Request for Further Action - Do not think of this last paragraph as a closing, but more of an opening to further contact. End the letter in an assertive, but courteous way by taking the initiative to follow up.

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