A cover letter accompanies a resume  as part of job or internship application materials. A good cover letter will communicate interest, motivation and self-confidence, as well as some understanding of the position.

Cover letters should be unique to each position, and can help you achieve your employment goal by showcasing your specific education and qualifications.

Write it:

Use the template available here to get started.

Need more? Use these annotated cover letters as references to get you started.

When composing a cover letter, keep these things in mind:

Write a unique cover letter for each position. Utilize the job description to draw connections from your experiences to the demands of your potential position – tell the story of your career growth. Engage your reader with specific, clear examples from your academic, employment, or volunteer/internship experiences.

Draw clear connections. Ineffective cover letters leave it up to the reader to see the connection between the candidate’s experiences and the job opportunity. Strong cover letters strive to clearly make this connection. Use the examples you’ve provided to show how you are qualified.

Brevity is a strength. Strong cover letters are typically under one page. Every word counts, so use language to your advantage.

A cover letter is a piece of writing. Most writers go through multiple drafts, so be okay with going through multiple drafts of your cover letter before finding the final document. Further, as you grow in your career and employment experience, your career story will evolve as well.

Review it:

All good writers have their work edited. It is very important that you have your cover letter reviewed and critiqued by a career counselor or your advisor.

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