The Purpose of a Cover Letter
Your cover letter should …
Explain why you are sending a resum�. Don’t send a resum� without
a cover letter (unless you are explicitly asked to do so.) Don’t make
the reader guess what you are asking for; be specific: Do you want a
summer internship opportunity or a permanent position at graduation? Are
you inquiring about future employment possibilities?
Tell specifically how you learned about the position or the
organization (for example, through a flier posted in your
department, a specific directory in the Career Development Center, or a
family friend who works at the organization). It is appropriate to
mention the name of someone who suggested that you write.
Convince the reader to look at your resum�. The cover letter will
be seen first. Therefore, it must be very well written and targeted to
Call attention to elements of your background—education,
leadership, experience—that are all relevant to the position you are
seeking. Be as specific as possible, using examples.
Reflect your attitude, personality, motivation, enthusiasm and
Provide or refer to any information specifically requested in a
job advertisement that isn’t covered in your resum�, such as your
availability date or the inclusion of a required writing sample.