Cover Letters

The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce yourself, state your interest with the organization, bring attention to your resume, and explain why you would be a good fit for the job. Your cover letter should not rephrase or repeat what's on your resume, but rather complement it. Consider your cover letter as the sales pitch--you want to make it personal and direct.

You should always send a cover letter with a resume, even if it is listed as optional. A cover letter is always one page and formatted like a business letter. Just like your resume, your cover letter should be tailored to each job you apply.

See below some tips for writing your cover letter. As always, Career Services can help you along the way! Call 864-503-5392 for an appointment!

What to Include In Your Cover Letter

Format

  • You want to format your cover letter like a business letter. You can use the same heading from your resume (name and contact information) as the heading for your cover letter.
  • You also want to include the company contact's name (AVOID "To Whom it May Concern", "Hiring Manager", or other vague titles), his/her job title, the company name and address.
  • Keep your cover letter to one page, broken into short paragraphs that are easy to skim through. 

Cover Letter Content

First Paragraph-Introduction

  • Briefly introduce yourself. Include which position you are applying for and how you found out about the opportunity (i.e. company website, career fair, SpartanCareer Link).

Second Paragraph-Interest

  • Explain why you are interested about this company. Why is this particular job important to the company? How does it relate to the company's mission statement, values, and vision? Has this company been recognized for any awards? Is it growing or expanding? What would be valuable about working here?
  • The point of this paragraph is to show you have done your research about the company. It also shows you are not using the same cover letter for every job application!

Third Paragraph-Fit

  • Explain why you are a good fit for this company and for this job position. What strengths and skills do you have that directly relates to the job?
  • You don't want to repeat or summarize your resume, but rather show how your experience will allow you to meet the responsibilites of the job. Look a the job posting and match your skills and strengths with what is expected of the job role.

Fourth Paragraph-Conclusion

  • Reiterate your interest for this opportunity and request action for follow-up.
    • I look forward to the opportunity to speak with you further about this opportunity.
    • Thank you for your consideration and I hope to speak with you more about my qualifications and experience. 
  • Provide the best the method(s) to be contacted for any follow-up. 
Sample Cover Letter

Chris Traeger

City Manager

Pawnee City Government

100 State Street

Pawnee, Indiana 47998

 

Dear Mr. Traeger,

I am writing in regards to the job posting for Desktop Support Specialist that I found posted on Indeed.com. I am a recent graduate with BS in Computer Science and am very excited to start my career in Information Technology.

I have seen the growth and development of Pawnee and admire all of the accomplishments, programs, and involvement the city government offers to support the community. I understand the role of Desktop Support Specialist will help all departments run smoothly and will allow your staff to provide quality service to Pawnee’s citizens. If hired, I guarantee I will uphold the city’s mission and values to better serve the citizens of Pawnee.

I recently completed an internship with my university’s IT Department, where I assisted in troubleshooting problems that faculty, staff, and students encountered within the campus network.  I am also working as a restaurant server, constantly providing positive service to all of my customers. I am responsible for managing 5-10 tables per shift simultaneously, ensuring all customers’ orders are correct, promptly served, and are given a quality dining experience. I know that these skills will help me in being successful in the role of the Desktop Support Specialist by solving the city’s technical issues and providing attention and assistance to staff in a quick, helpful, and positive manner.

I am very excited at the opportunity to work for Pawnee City Government and I hope you will consider me during the application process. I appreciate your time and consideration, and look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,