105 Cover Letters

Your Cover Letter

A cover letter is a letter of introduction, usually 3–4 paragraphs in length, that you attach to your résumé. It’s a way of introducing yourself to a potential employer and explaining why you are suited for a position. Employers may look for individualized and thoughtfully written cover letters as an initial method of screening out applicants who may who lack necessary basic skills, or who may not be sufficiently interested in the position.

 Cover Letter Examples

Often an employer will request or require that a cover letter be included in the materials an applicant submits. There are also occasions when you might submit a cover letter uninvited (also called a letter of interest). For example, if you are initiating an inquiry about possible work or asking someone to send you information or provide other assistance.

With each résumé you send out, always include a cover letter specifically addressing your purposes.

Characteristics of an Effective Cover Letter

Cover letters should accomplish the following:

  • Get the attention of the prospective employer
  • Set you apart from any possible competition
  • Identify the position you are interested in
  • Specify how you learned about the position or company
  • Present highlights of your skills and accomplishments
  • Reflect your genuine interest
  • Please the eye and ear

The following video features Aimee Bateman, founder of Careercake.com, who explains how you can create an incredible cover letter. Download a transcript of the video.

Video: 5 Steps to an Incredible Cover Letter


Cover Letter Resources

1 Student Cover Letter Samples (from About Careers) This site contains sample student/recent graduate cover letters (especially for high school students and college students and graduates seeking employment) as well as cover letter templates, writing tips, formats and templates, email cover letter examples, and examples by type of applicant.
2 How to Write Cover Letters (from CollegeGrad) This site contains resources about the reality of cover letters, using a cover letter, the worst use of the cover letter, the testimonial cover letter technique, and a cover letter checklist.
4 Cover Letters (from the Yale Office of Career Strategy) This site includes specifications for the cover letter framework (introductory paragraph, middle paragraph, concluding paragraph), as well as format and style.

Licenses and Attributions

CC licensed content, Original:

All rights reserved content:

  • WHY DO I NEED A RESUME? Authored by: Leinard Tapat. Located at: https://youtu.be/Yc4pgOsUJfA. License: All Rights Reserved. License Terms: Standard YouTube License.
  • Resume Tips for College Students From Employers. Authored by: Clarkson University. Located at: https://youtu.be/fYavOr8Gnac. License: All Rights Reserved. License Terms: Standard YouTube License.
  • 5 Steps to an Incredible Cover Letter. Authored by: Aimee Bateman. Located at: https://youtu.be/mxOli8laZos. License: All Rights Reserved. License Terms: Standard YouTube License.
  • Resume Tutorial. Authored by: Cameron Cassidy. Located at: https://youtu.be/O5eVMaPZWmM. License: All Rights Reserved. License Terms: Standard YouTube License.

Foundations of Academic Success: Words of Wisdom essay removed (exists elsewhere in this work).

Adaptions: Relocated learning objectives. Image of helping write a resume removed. Image of piles of paper on a table removed.

College Success. Authored by: Linda Bruce. Provided by: Lumen Learning. Located at: https://courses.lumenlearning.com/collegesuccess-lumen/chapter/resumes-and-cover-letters/  License: CC BY: Attribution.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Cover Letters Copyright © 2020 by Liza Long; Amy Minervini; and Joel Gladd is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book