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:
- Internship Sample
- Co-op Sample
- Entry Level Sample
- Gap Year/Non-Profit or Service Sample
- Advanced/Experienced Sample
- Advanced Career Changer Sample
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
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
You will need a list of three or four references to take with you to interviews. Use the same header as your resume.
- Job Title
- Relationship to you
- Phone Number
Bring your drafts to drop-in hours (M-F, 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 103 Stearns) for a critique!