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Cover Letter & Samples

In this Section

Each paragraph is outlined in general. Sample letters may be found here (Arts & Sciences, Business, Engineering)

  1. First paragraph: The first paragraph is used to state the position you are applying for, where you found it advertised/who referred you and why you are interested in this opportunity/company/industry. Also include your school name, graduation date, area of study, and concentration (if applicable). Remember to include why that company or position is of particular interest to you. This makes your letter more specific.
  2. Second paragraph: Describe why you are a strong candidate by highlighting specific experiences, achievements, and skills. You will be highlighting information that appears on the resume. There are two basic ways to draft this paragraph. Ask yourself what from my background most directly relates……….
    • Highlight experiences (internship, co-op, part-time jobs or school projects) by outlining what you accomplished – describe what you did, don’t  be too general or too brief
    • Mention what type of employee you are and how you can contribute
  3. Third paragraph (optional): An optional paragraph that you may want to include if your second paragraph is quite long or tries to cover too many topics. This is a great section for students to describe their leadership attributes or other relevant skills. Try to think of this brief paragraph as “what else do I have to offer.” When used appropriately, it helps to make you appear very humanistic. **Note: When sending via email, do not use this paragraph. It makes your letter to long and requires the reader to scroll.
  4. Fourth paragraph (closing):  Initiate action by stating that you look forward to interviewing for the position. Provide your contact information and thank them for considering your application. You may mention follow up but only do so if you intend to follow through. **Note: Listing the position name that you applied for within the paragraph makes the letter sound more sincere and specific.