Whenever you send a résumé to a potential employer — whether you mail, email, fax, or hand-deliver it — be sure to include a carefully crafted cover letter.
Why a Cover Letter?
Why is a cover letter important? A good cover letter communicates things your résumé can’t, including:
- Your strong interest in the position
- Your keen understanding of what the position entails
- Your thorough understanding of the company
- Your self-confidence
- How you will add value to the organization
- Additional information about you that’s relevant to the job
Your cover letter will probably serve as your potential employer’s first impression of you. A well-written cover letter adds professionalism, a personal touch, and a competitive edge to your job search.
Tips for Preparing Your Cover Letter
- Be clear and concise. Choose your words carefully, and delete any that aren’t pulling their weight.
- Be professional. Take care to demonstrate that you are a professional who is serious about your interest in the job.
- Address the letter to a specific person in the organization. Address the letter by name (double-check the spelling) to the person doing the hiring.
- Refer to your résumé and to the job description. Show how your skills, strengths, education, and experience match the requirements of the job description.
- Demonstrate your basic knowledge of the organization.
- Read your cover letter aloud. Get the opinion of a friend, faculty member, or professional in the field — is it compelling, or ho-hum?
- Proofread carefully at least twice. If possible, ask someone else with good language skills to proof it also.
- Invest in good printing and stationery. If you’re mailing or hand-delivering your application materials, print the cover letter on the same paper as your résumé.
Sample Cover Letters
Need Help Writing Your Cover Letter?
Our career counselors are available to critique your cover letter or even assist you in creating one. Call us at 206-281-2485 to make an appointment.
Why I Work at SPU
Kimberly Petersen, Career Counselor
“There are many reasons I work at SPU: wonderful students and alumni, outstanding colleagues, and a variety of opportunities to do good work. I value SPU’s focus on whole person development and enjoy engaging with students as they explore who they are, and express their gifts through the work they choose.”