writing cover letters
a guide to writing great cover letters
THE BASIC FORMAT
The cover letter works together with your resume to
or use the
introduce ‘you’ to potential employers. Always include
a cover letter with your resume. It may not be requested,
but it is implied. Maintain a consistent look with your
resume and cover letter. The letter should be written in
business format, no longer than one page, and should
serve as the starting point for a phone conversation or
Contact Person (Mr., Mrs., or Ms.)
City, State, Zip
(Country if applicable)
Whenever possible, the cover letter should be directed to a specific
person. This improves the chances of your materials being reviewed
Dear (Mr., Mrs., or Ms.) Contact Person,
by the proper person or committee. Avoid using “To Whom it May
Concern,” and use “Hiring Manager” or “Selection Committee” instead.
pa r a g r a p h 1
t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n
Who you are | What position you are applying to | Your relationship to them
Introduce yourself and identify why you are contacting them. If you have been referred to this contact by another individual,
identify him or her in this paragraph. Most importantly, let them know what position you are applying for.
pa r a g r a p h 2
w h y t h e m
Why you like them | What’s relevant about them to you
An employer will be impressed that you have done your homework on them. Research the company using their website and take
notes of projects or ideals that you are impressed with. Mention a few examples of and share why you see yourself fitting in at
their company, and specifically in this role. Of all of the jobs out there, why do you want to work for them?
pa r a g r a p h 3
w h y y o u
What will you contribute | What’s relevant about you to them
Highlight the relevant parts of your resume that most qualify you for the position. Site specific experiences and skills that
demonstrate what you will be bringing to the employer. What unique strengths do you have and how can they be utilized in this
role? Choose skills that match or closely relate to those in the job description.
pa r a g r a p h 4
t h e c l o s i n g
Thanks | Enclosures | Contact | Website | Next Step
Close by thanking the prospective employer for their time and consideration. Let them know the best way to get in touch with you.
Mention enlosures such as your resume or portfolio samples, and/or direct them to your website or online portfolio. If you plan
to relocate or if you are best reached at certain days/times, this is the place to say so. Remember, do whatever you say you are
going to do here, mark it on your calendar and follow up!
Your name (typed)
410-225-2420 - CAREERDEVELOPMENT@MICA.EDU - -