Cover letters are a key component to applying for a job and should be written after the resume. They can make a good impression and expand on your experiences that will set you apart from other candidates. Here are some tips on getting started writing one.

A cover letter should be no more than one page (3-5 paragraphs).

Formatting cover letters are not as difficult as resumes. Here's just a few tips to help:

  • Make sure you have the same heading on both your resume and cover letter
  • Make sure the font is the same as your resume (Times New Roman or Arial)
  • Use 10-12 point font
  • Use standard business letter format
  • Convert to a PDF if you're submitting electronically

Cover letters are your opportunity to convince the company and the hiring personnel why your resume matters and why you would make a great addition to their team. This is where you take the information from your resume and explain, expand, and excel at describing how qualified you are.

  • Personal Salutation:
    • Do all you can to find the right person to address the letter to. It will stand out, show you care, and is much better than "To Whom It May Concern"
  • Opening:
    • This is your hook. Grab their attention and make your intent and drive clear.
  • Body:
    • This is your sales pitch. Discuss your past experiences, education, transferable skills and how they relate to the position you're applying to. Persuade them that you will make an incredible employee and be able to contribute positively to their environment. Quantify experience whenever you can.
  • Closing:
    • This is where you tie everything together and stimulate the reader to think of you in that position. Thank them for their time and reiterate interest. Something like, "I look forward to further discussing the contributions I can make to XYZ company. Thank you for your consideration"

Here is a printable example for you.

Contact Information

Student Employment & Career Readiness Center

Student Union Building/Center For Student Leadership 202

500 8th Avenue

Lewiston, Idaho 83501