Cover Letters & Additional Job Search Correspondence

What Is A Cover Letter?

The purpose of a cover letter is to convince an employer that your skills and background make you worth interviewing. While a resume summarizes your experience, a cover letter persuasively relates that experience to the specific job to which you are applying. A cover letter also gives you the opportunity to explain why you're interested in that particular company, making you a more attractive candidate to that employer.

A good cover letter will make you a more attractive candidate by demonstrating:

  • Knowledge about the job, the company, and the industry
  • Effort in your job search and enthusiasm for the job
  • Writing and organizational skills
  • Understanding about yourself, your skills, and your potential contributions

It’s true that some employers barely glance at cover letters; however, many others review them attentively. View it as an extra opportunity for you to promote yourself, and increase your chances of getting an interview by sending a well-written cover letter with every application.

Read our Cover Letter Guide for a more comprehensive explanation of cover letters and how to write one.

Cover Letter Samples:

Additional Job Search Correspondence

Networking Letters or Emails

Write a networking letter or e-mail to request an informational interview or a meeting with a professional contact.  Check out the Networking and Informational Interviewing page.

Thank you notes

After the interview, send a thank-you note within 24 hours by e-mail or postal mail to the person who interviewed you. If you were interviewed by multiple people, be sure to send each person an individual thank you note. To really stand out, reference something that you talked about with each person in each individual note.

Click here for a Thank You Note Sample

Resignation Letter

Should you decide to leave a position, a letter notifying your employer should be sent well in advance of your departure so as to maintain a respectful work relationship and give the employer time to adjust to the change by looking for a replacement.

Click here for a Resignation Letter Sample

References

You will need a list of three or four references to take with you to interviews. Use the same header as your resume.

• List 3 references that can speak about your qualifications:
  •  Name
  • Job Title
  • Relationship to you
  • Phone Number
  • E-mail

Bring your drafts to walk-in hours (M-F, 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 103 Stearns) for a critique!