Cover Letter Guidelines and Samples

Cover Letter Samples

Full Time Job Cover Letter Sample

Full Time Job Cover Letter Sample 2

Internship Cover Letter Sample

Internship Cover Letter Sample 2


Purpose of Cover Letter

  • The purpose of the cover letter is to demonstrate to the employer that you are a good fit for their organization and the role for which you’re applying. Think about your cover letter as a way to “connect the dots” between your resume (your past) and the job description (the future).
  • Share the reasons for your interest, enthusiasm, and qualifications for the job, beyond what is communicated in your resume.
  • Help the employer understand your motivation and provide an introduction to your personality and values.


Getting Started

Before you start writing, reflect, brainstorm, and research the information that will go into your cover letter. Here are some questions to consider: 

  • To whom should you address the letter? When possible, your cover letter should be addressed to a certain person. 
  • Why do you want the job? 
  • What excites you most about this opportunity? 
  • What are the organization’s core values and mission? How do they market themselves? What type of language do they use? 
  • What makes you a good fit for this job and organization? 
  • When have you demonstrated each of the top skills, qualifications, and qualities the employer is seeking? 
  • Put yourself in the employer’s shoes: Who is the ideal candidate? What are the top 2 or 3 skills, qualifications, and qualities that the employer is seeking for this role? 


Writing the Letter

Introductory Paragraph

Provide a brief introduction that includes the title of the position and a broad statement about your interest in the role. Your introductory paragraph should introduce the employer to why you are a good fit and the skill sets that best qualify you for the job. This is also where you can mention where you learned about the opportunity.

Body Paragraph(s)

Qualifications: Use active language to demonstrate the two or three top skills, qualifications, or qualities that the employer is seeking for this position. Share your related experiences and explain their relevance to the position. Use specifics about the skills you’ve gained. Do not copy and paste from your resume. This paragraph provides you with an opportunity to tell a new and more in-depth story, beyond what the employer reads on your resume. 

Defining your interest and fit: Communicate your interest and enthusiasm for the position and the organization. Discuss why you specifically want to work for this employer and what would be unique about this organization and/or role for you. How do your interests, passions, or desired skills to be developed, relate to this opportunity? 

Final Paragraph

This is a brief conclusion where you can reiterate your excitement about applying or summarize some personal characteristics (soft skills) that you bring to the job. Conclude with a thank you and your contact information.

* NOTE: Cover letter guidelines can vary by industry. For more information, meet with your Career Community Advisor.



Is your cover letter... 

☐ Consistent with your resume? (same header, font, margins) 

☐ Simple, clean font (Times, Arial, Garamond) 

☐ 10-12 pt font 

☐ 0.5 to 1 in margins 

☐ Error free (grammar & spelling)? 

☐ Concise? 

☐ Tailored to the type(s) of opportunities you are seeking?

Does your cover letter… 

☐ Convey your enthusiasm for the opportunity? 

☐ Go beyond what’s on your resume? 

☐ Include varied sentence structure (avoid starting every sentence with I)