Cover Letters


Your cover letter summarizes and explains your resume and materials submit when applying for paid or unpaid opportunities such as internships, volunteer positions, or jobs.

Getting Started:

Cover letters for known positions are sometimes called letters of application or letters of interest.
Example opening:   I am writing to apply for the ____________ position.

Cover letters used in direct marketing or in networking are called letters of inquiry.
Example Opening:    I am writing to inquire if you are hiring or anticipate hiring ___________.  I was referred by __________________ regarding potential openings …

What to Include:

  • A summary and a few specific examples regarding how your education, experiences, skills and qualifications fulfill the position requirements
  • Connect at least one example to the research you have completed regarding the organization and refer to your resume for more examples

Quick Tips:

  • While not always required, it’s better to include a cover letter if you’re not sure
  • As a writing sample, a cover letter must be well written and free of grammatical errors
  • Formats vary whether it’s on paper, attached online, or embedding it in your email
  • Learn more about how to write effective cover letters in our additional resources