Cover Letters

The Interview Road Map

A cover letter accompanies your resume when you apply for a position. It is your personal introduction to a prospective employer outlining your interest in the position and the organization and expressing why you are qualified for the position. A cover letter is not a summary of your resume; rather, it is a “teaser” whose function is to make a potential employer want to read your resume.

Each cover letter should be tailored to a specific job description and organization. Using bullet points show how you meet the required qualifications for that particular job by emphasizing the two or three strongest reasons why you are a compelling candidate (something more than: “I could do that job.”). Show what you know about the organization/industry and demonstrate why you are a good fit. Use confident language, write in an active voice and except in rare circumstances, limit your letter to one page.

Your cover letter should be designed specifically for each purpose outlined below as for each position you seek. Do not design a form letter and send it to every potential employer—you know what you do with junk mail! Remember this is the first sample of your written communication skills, so make it good!

There are three general types of cover letters:

red dot Networking Letter: requests information and assistance in your job search.
red dot Prospecting Letter: inquires about possible position.
red dot Application Letter: responds to a known job opening.