The Cover Letter
The purpose of a cover letter is to give a prospective employer additional information regarding why you are interested in
a position, the skills you have related to a position, and why you feel you are the best qualified candidate. A well-planned
cover letter is just as important as an impressive resume and together they form an important resource in a job
campaign. Your letter is a reflection of you and how you approach your work.
You should prepare a separate, personalized cover letter for each position you apply for in which a cover letter is
requested by the company. Each cover letter should highlight your skills and experiences that match with the
qualifications of the job you are applying for. When posting opportunities in FisherConnect, many companies do not
require or request a cover letter.
A cover letter consists of THREE paragraphs:
Opening – states what position you are applying for and why you are interested in the position
Middle – discusses your strengths as they relate to the position
Closing – identifies the next steps
Remember, keep the letter to ONE PAGE and keep it concise. The letter should refer the reader to the resume,
which is always included with the cover letter.
The opening should catch the reader’s attention in a businesslike manner; avoid gimmicks or catchy phrases.
Clearly state the position you are applying for, where you found the position, and why you are particularly interested in
this position with this company. Here are some sample openings:
Reply to a job listing:
“I am applying for the Financial Analyst position recently posted on FisherConnect at the Fisher College of Business.”
Name a mutual acquaintance:
“Professor Brutus Buckeye of the Accounting Department informed me that your firm is looking for an accounting major who is
interested in tax accounting.”
Make a connection with the position and why you are interested:
“My two years of retailing experience in a department store similar to yours, my business education, plus a sincere interest in
Retail Management have helped me to learn the basic requirements for running a department efficiently. I am ready to contribute
the practical skills I have acquired by becoming a part of your Management Leadership Training Program.”
Briefly explain a personal reason why you want the job. Your reasons can be based on industry preferences,
geographical location of the company, the fit between your values/interests and the company’s services/products, or
a combination of these or other variables. A genuine show of enthusiasm, purpose, and knowledge will set you apart
from others who send generic form letters.
“With an Associate’s Degree in the Culinary Arts and a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, I am very familiar with Williams-Sonoma’s
excellent products and am excited about beginning a career than can tap into both of my passions.”
After you have caught the reader’s attention, you must present your basic qualifications for the job. Select and
emphasize 3-4 key points in educational credentials, work experience, and relevant personal qualities that connect with
the qualifications outlined in the job description. If you do not have a job description, use FisherConnect and internet
resources to find descriptions for similar positions. It is important to have a list of requirements and qualifications as you
begin the middle of the cover letter.
If you would like additional information, please set up an appointment to meet with a Career
Consultant: (614) 292-6024.