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Cover Letters

  • Use a business letter format
  • Keep the letter limited to one page, using paper identical to the paper used for your resume. 
  • Address the letter to an individual by name, including correct title.organization and address. You can also address the letter to a "Selection Committee" or a "Search Committee." 
  • Highlight your skills and abilities that are relevant to the type of position you are seeking; Go beyond being a mere restatement of what's already on your resume. 
  • Tailor the letter to the specific position and organization. 
  • Focus on the needs of the employer, and how you can fulfill them. 
  • Be positive in context, tone, word choice and expectations. 
  • Utilize key words throughout the cover letter.
  • Include a closing statement that expresses your positive intentions on being interviewed, hearing from that individual and/or taking the next step. This statement brings closure to the letter. 
  • Carefully spell check and proofread. 

Cover letters should be tailored specifically for the position to which you are applying.  Some organizations  indicated cover letters as being "optional," take it upon yourself to make them mandatory. 


Bear in mind that the letters you write not only convey your interest and qualifications, but also give the employer an opportunity to observe your attentiveness to detail, spelling, grammar and the overall quality of your written communication. 


The quality of your cover letter will determine the employer's first impression of you. The following are general guidelines to help you design your cover letter.