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Cover letters are a very important part of the application process as they demonstrate your attention to
detail, writing ability and allow you to express your enthusiasm for the opportunity. Complete these
steps, then email your cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org for review.
Research the organization for which you are applying and Outline what messages you hope to get
across in your cover letter
Create a unique cover letter for each job/internship. Cover letters should be specific to the job/
internship and organization for which you are applying.
Thoroughly review the website of the organization for which you are applying. Identify their values and
unique qualities. Note how they relate to your own values/experiences. Why do they appeal to you?
Carefully read the job description and highlight the top qualities, traits and skills that they are
looking for in a candidate. Which preferred and required qualifications do you meet? How do your
skills and experience match what they are looking for?
Outline your main points before beginning your letter.
Format your cover letter in proper business letter format. Review the examples included in the Job
Search Handbook or search online.
Align text flush left, single space, and double space between paragraphs.
In general, a cover letter should be no more than one page in length, with about three paragraphs or
ten sentences in total.
Keep it concise - it will not be read if it is too long.
Include your full contact information and their full contact information as available.
You can use the same header that appears on your resume or align your contact information
to the top left.
Your email address should be appropriate and professional.
Include the full date.
Address the letter to a specific individual(s) within the organization. Use Hiring Manager,
Hiring Committee, or To Whom it May Concern only as a last resort.
Begin with a proper salutation: Dear Mr., Ms. or full name of the individual.
Paragraph One: About THEM. Why apply to this organization/ position?
Explain your purpose in writing the cover letter.
Identify the position you are applying for. Be specific about your interest in/passion for that
particular role and that particular organization.
If relevant, list how you learned of the position and who referred you.
Show your enthusiasm about this specific organization and why you are excited about this specific
job/internship. Paragraph Two: About YOU for THEM. Why are you a fit for this opportunity?
Describe concrete in-depth experiences that make you qualified for the role you are applying for.
Don’t just repeat information that can be found on your resume. Instead, write about how your skills
and experience relate to what they are looking for and how they make you a good candidate for this role.
Do not try to tell your whole life story.
Keep it relevant and work-centered/employer-centered, not self-centered.
19 cover letter checklist
Format your letter properly
Job Search Handbook
COVER LETTER CHECKLIST