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How To Write a Cover Letter

Updated: Apr 21, 2021

Person wearing white, sitting on a white bed, with laptop in front of them.

A cover letter or a letter of Inquiry is a one-page document or email limited to 3-4 paragraphs, each with a distinct purpose. Despite it brevity, it’s a very important letter so it may take you several tries to achieve the best result.

First Paragraph: The Purpose Why are you writing?

Are you applying to a specific position?

Are you inquiring whether there is a need for an intern?

  • The name of the position

  • Where you found out about it (website or personal referral)

  • Or are you writing to inquire if the organization has a need for your skills

  • Indicate why you are interested in the position and/or the company

  • Show evidence of research about the company/organization

Middle Paragraph: The Proof Why you and not any of the other zillion candidates? Most Important paragraph!

  • Cite specific skills that the organization is looking for

  • Cite specific accomplishments relevant to the job description

  • Highlight any special skills, experience and background which might not appear on your resume (projects, coursework, collaborations)

  • Avoid regurgitating what’s already on your resume

Last Paragraph: The Close What do you want?

• Mention what is enclosed; resume, writing samples, references only if requested)

• Indicate your interest in an interview or phone discussion about the position

• Specify when you will follow – up with a phone call or email (but then you have to do it!)

• Share you contact information again

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