|Developing a solid résumé is just the beginning of the application process. Every résumé you send should be accompanied by a well-written cover letter. A cover letter may be used to inquire about possible job openings (letter of inquiry) or to submit your résumé for consideration to any known vacancies (letter of application).
Your cover letter is often the first contact between you and a prospective employer. Take control of your first impression by crafting a polished and compelling cover letter.
A cover letter should be concise. Your goal is to spark an employer’s interest and entice the reader to review your résumé. One page is the limit for any cover letter. Take extra care to proofread your cover letter for punctuation, spelling, and grammar. These are the simple mistakes that can negatively impact your first impression.
Every cover letter should be customized to the receiving company and position for which you apply. It is often helpful to draft a cover letter template that you can personalize to each application. Do your research and identify the individual in charge of the final hiring decision. Address your correspondence to that person.
Before sending a cover letter, discover as much as you can about the potential employer, the position in question, and any developments in the relevant industry. Integrate this knowledge with your document to demonstrate your sincere interest in working for this organization.
Remember, cover letters are as unique as the individuals who write them. Be sure to craft a document that reflects your interests and abilities.
Sample Cover Letters
Review the CPRC's resources for information on other forms of professional correspondence.
Job Choices 2012 - The Art of Writing Job Search Letters for science & technology and business & liberal arts students
Dynamic Cover Letter Samples - from Quintessential Careers
Cover Letters and Other Correspondence - from the Riley Guide
Job Search Letters - Purdue Online Writing Lab
Sample Cover Letter Styles - from Virginia Tech
Create a Winning Cover Letter - from WetFeet
A+ Resumes & Cover Letters for Teachers