Cover Letter Basics

Have you just found your dream job on Crusader Careers or have you wanted to apply for an internship you saw on Cap Job’s Facebook but haven’t gotten around applying? You probably know that a resume is an absolute essential when applying for a job but cover letters matter, too!

A cover letter, unlike a resume, provides you with the opportunity to tell the employer how you believe you are fit for the job. For every job or internship that you apply to, you should always write a personalized cover letter. By customizing your cover letter, you are explaining to the employer specific information from your  resume and background that applies to that specific field or position. This means linking your experience, demonstrated skills, course work, and accomplishments to the requirements of that particular position.

Generally, there are three main parts to a cover letter. Here’s a quick overview from the Cover Letter booklet:

The first paragraph is typically two or three sentences in length and starts with sentence in which you focus on the employer’s needs. You are basically telling the employer what position you’re applying for and a quick overview of who you are.

The second paragraph is the longest of the three. In this section, you emphasize your past accomplishments, experiences, and acquired skills in order to align yourself with the job you’re interested in. Be sure to pay close attention to the specific job requirements/qualifications listed on the job advertisement so that you can let that be your guide. This isn’t just restating what’s on your resume, but providing specific examples that explain why the experiences you’ve had make you a great candidate for the job.

The third paragraph is similar in length to the first. It’s simply telling the employer how to contact you and also to thank the person for their consideration and time.

Cover letters are tricky, so if you still have questions or need help writing a cover letter, please drop in for a review in our office – we’re always happy to help!


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