|(Students, faculty and staff)
The value of a cover letter is the ability to present your skills, qualifications and intentions to a prospective employer in a succinct and appealing format. The cover letter is your sales pitch to a potential employer about why you are the most qualified person for the job and how you fit the position description.
Listed below are the steps necessary to build an effective cover letter.
First Paragraph |
Second Paragraph |
Final Paragraph |
Sample Cover Letter
If you have questions about creating or updating your cover letter, or would like your cover letter to be reviewed, please contact
Be reader-centered. Focus your cover letter on what you can do for the employer rather than what you will gain from the job.
Support your claims. Provide concrete examples and illustrations of your strongest attributes to paint a vivid picture for the employer.
Differentiate yourself. What sets you apart as a candidate? What is your greatest accomplishment that can be directly related to the needs of the position for which you are applying?
Personalize it. Your cover letter should directly recognize the needs of the organization and how your unique traits will meet those needs. This will demonstrate your commitment to the job search and that you are serious about working for the companies you are contacting.
Keep it simple, direct and interesting. Do not simply repeat your resume, rather include specific examples that are not included in your resume.
Present yourself in a positive and honest manner.
Match the paper and font style of your resume to your cover letter.
One page in length.
- Catch the reader's eye and interest with your first sentence. Begin with a bold statement about one of your personal, academic or business achievements that is most applicable to the position you are applying.
- State the reason you are writing the letter – position you are applying for or inquiring about
- Source of referral, if any
- Include your interest in the position and/or company
- Flatter your audience by including company information found through research
- End the paragraph with a persuasive statement about why you are the ideal candidate
- Demonstrate why you are qualified for the job
- Match your qualifications closely to the posted job description
- Emphasize what you can contribute to the organization
- Choose 2-3 skills that you most want to emphasize and give concrete examples to illustrate those skills and experiences
- Highlight information found on the resume, but do not simply repeat your entire resume
- May be 1-2 paragraphs
- Reiterate your excitement and interest in the position
- State your appreciation of the employer’s consideration
- Include your intentions for follow-up
- Phone number/e-mail and best way to contact you
Please see the example below for information on formatting your cover letter.
Sample Cover Letter
Click here for a sample cover letter.
Phone: (920) 403-3040
Fax: (920) 403-4052
St. Norbert College • 100 Grant Street • De Pere, WI 54115-2099 • 920-337-3181
© 1996-2013 • All rights reserved worldwide.