Cover Letter Writing Tips

  • Follow a business letter format.
  • Target your cover letter to a particular position and organization.
  • Address it to a specific individual; avoid terms like “Dear Sir or Madam”. As a last resort use “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Search Committee”.
  • Talk in terms of what you can contribute to the organization, not how the position or organization will benefit you.
  • Convey focused career goals and demonstrate how you are the right fit for this position.
  • Be honest and always be able to back up your claims.
  • Keep it brief, free of errors, and professional — one full page is probably too much.
  • Remember to sign it.

1st Paragraph — Statement of Intent

Explain clearly what job or type of job you are seeking and express interest in the organization. If you are responding to a specific opening, indicate how and where you learned of the opportunity and/or the organization.

2nd Paragraph — Summary of Qualifications

Mention one or two key qualifications you think would be of greatest interest to the employer. Tell why the organization, location, or the type of work appeals to you. Generate interest so the reader wants to read your resume.

3rd Paragraph — Request for Action

Close by making a specific request for an interview. You can indicate that you will follow up with a phone call and if you make this claim, be sure to follow through. Thank the reader for taking the time to consider you.

Cover Letter Examples — General and LIS-Specific