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Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture Student Success

Cover Letter Tips

Your cover letter should accomplish the following: 

  • Clearly route your cover letter and résumé to the right person for the right job opening.
  • Show you can communicate professionally in writing.
  • Reinforce qualifications presented in your résumé and show that you are a good fit for the company by using short narrative examples of how your experience and skills match the needs of the employer.
  • Reflect your positive attitude, personality, motivation, and enthusiasm.

Need assistance crafting the perfect cover letter?

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Tip 1: Get into the right mindset- What is the purpose of a cover letter? Your cover letter does need to be simple and quick, but since this is your very first introduction, it is vitally important that you impress them.

Tip 2: Don’t make your cover letter generic… Target the position you are applying for. Resist the temptation to use a basic cover letter template online and just change out the names of the job title and company. This letter doesn’t make the reader want to dig deeper and read your resume. Each letter should be unique to the position you want. Target the job, the company, the hiring manager. Get your point across quickly while being polite, friendly, and professional.

Tip 3: Address their problems and your solutions. Your cover letter should always be focused on how you can help the employer. What in it for them? What are you bringing to the table?

Tip 4: Quantify, quantify & measure. Numbers are what really get the attention of most hiring managers. For them, that proves that you’re not just all talk. You can back that up with measurable results. That’s either dollars, numbers, or percentages. For example:

  • Numbers: Voted most valuable employee 3 times.
  • Dollars: Increased club revenue by $2,000 with networking event.
  • Percentages: Developed procedure that reduced costs by 50%.

Tip 5: Be yourself, let your personality shine. That’s just an example. Whatever you say throughout your cover letter should be in your own words. You want it to be direct and to the point, but you also want your personality to shine through.

Tip 6: Spell-check then proofread, proofread, and proofread again! The number one reason employers throw out any application materials is due to spelling errors and typos. Use an easy-to-read font (like Times New Roman, Ariel, or Helvetica). Make sure there are not errors in it. Proofread it, proofread it again, and then get someone else to proofread it. Spell-check doesn’t catch everything, so you need an actual person to go over it.