Career Services

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Cover Letter Writing

Common elements included in a cover letter are:
Contact Information - Include electronic communication on your cover letter. Provide a current e-mail address (that you check regularly) along with a phone number that will roll to voice mail if you're unavailable. Make sure your voice mail has a professional and courteous message and that your email is professional.

Salutation - Use the employer's name and title if known. Do not use a first name only, use the entire name or last name such as "Dear Mr. Wilson."

First Paragraph - Your first sentence should tell how you learned of the possible opening. Use the remainder of the paragraph to express interest in a specific position or a particular kind of job and state that you have enclosed a resume.

Second and Third Paragraphs - our cover letter needs to fit the organization and job of interest. Direct attention to your qualifications and company knowledge. Remember, the purpose of your cover letter is to convince the employer to read your resume. The letter needs to be concise and professional.

  • When applying for a position that is a complete career change, explain to the reader your are making a change and why you are qualified for the position. Qualifications may include recent education or volunteer experience.
  • If you don't explain how you qualify for a career change position, the reader may eliminate your resume quickly because you do not have the matching work history.

Fourth Paragraph - Request an interview that takes into consideration the company and type of job for which you are applying. Ed the letter by thanking the person for their consideration.

Closing and Signature - May use:

  • Sincerely
  • Sincerely yours
  • Yours truly
  • Cordially

Enclosure - Notice of what you included with your cover letter such as resume or work sample.
Photos - It is not appropriate to include your photo on a resume or cover letter.

Click here for a cover letter sample

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