How to Write a Cover Letter
What is a Cover Letter and When Do You Use It?
A cover letter is how you introduce yourself to the employer. It contains contact
information, an introduction, a paragraph on why you should be interviewed, and a thank
you paragraph that restates your contact information. If you cannot hand your resume
directly to the employer and introduce yourself, use a cover letter!
So, for example, if you are attending The University of Texas at Dallas Career Expo, you
will not need a cover letter; you are going to hand your resume directly to the recruiters!
Instead, you would be your own cover letter. Introduce yourself!
The Format of the Cover Letter
Above the Letter:
As shown in the following examples, you need to provide contact information and the date.
You may use the same header format from your resume for consistency. The employer’s
contact information should also be included at the top of the cover letter. If you do not
know the employer’s information, try to research it on your own. If there is no information
available at all, write what you do know.
The Introduction Paragraph:
The very first paragraph in the cover letter is an introduction. Try to bury the “I” in your
cover letter; start off with introductory phrases. This paragraph is useful for explaining
where you found the job posting, what job you are doing now, and what job you
(including the specific job title and company name.) It is up to you which of
the above examples you want to talk about in your introduction paragraph.
The “Sell Yourself” Paragraph:
The central paragraph of the cover letter is unique for each person. It does not even have
to be a paragraph; the second cover letter sample shows how you can use bullet points
instead. But the premise is the same:
There are three possible things you
can use this section for: expanding what you have talked about on the resume (do not just
repeat yourself - expand), providing additional information not on the resume, or
describing how you fulfill the job’s requirements. Whatever you do,
KEEP IT SHORT AND
The Conclusion Paragraph:
Be strong in this paragraph! Do not say that “I hope to hear from you.” Instead, use a
phrase such as “I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.” Make sure to thank
them for their time and provide your email address and phone number again.
If you are sending anything besides this cover letter (a resume, for example) use
“Enclosure” after your name so the employer knows to expect documents in addition to the
Distributed by the UT Dallas Career Center