HOW TO WRITE A COVER LETTER - New Jersey City University

Cover Letters
Project Mentor
New Jersey City University
Jersey City, NJ
Partially funded by a grant from the NJ Commission on
Higher Education
What Is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter
introduces you to a
prospective employer,
expresses your
interest in and
qualifications for a
What Does a Good Cover Letter
A good cover letter
captures the reader’s
It begins the process of
“selling” yourself to the
prospective employer
It demonstrates your
interest and knowledge
of the company
No longer than one typed page
Three Parts
Why you are sending your resume
How your qualifications match the job
Begin each paragraph with a clear topic
Introductory Paragraph
Your first paragraph should:
Get the reader’s attention
Stimulate interest
Be appropriate for the job you are seeking
Make your goal clear to readers
The Body Paragraphs
Highlight your strongest qualifications
Match qualifications to the position you are seeking
Demonstrate how your skills and qualities will
benefit the employer
Refer to your enclosed resume for more detail
Use Clear Active Language
Use concrete words to
describe your experience
and results
Use present tense to
discuss current activities
and past tense for previous
job duties or
Be as specific as possible in
I organized and advertised a
conference… Attendance
increased by 25%
Developed menus for
members of a senior
Designed the web page for
our local food bank
Concluding Your Letter
I look forward to the
opportunity to meet with
you, at your convenience, to
discuss my qualifications
and learn more about XYZ
Company. You can reach
me at the above address,
phone numbers and email.
Thank you for considering
me for the position of IT
Conclude by asking for
a personal interview
Be flexible regarding a
date and time for the
Be specific about how
the interviewer should
contact you
Include a thank you
Explain why you are sending a resume
Tell how you learned about the position or the organization (a
job posting at your school, a website, an individual who works
at the organization)
Convince the reader to look at your resume
Focus on elements of your background (education, work
experience, activities) that are relevant to a position you are
Give one or two specific examples. Indicate your positive
qualities (attitude, personality, motivation, enthusiasm, and
communication skills)
Provide any information that was requested in the job posting
that might not be covered in your resume (e.g. availability date
or including a writing sample)
Indicate your desire for an interview
 “I look forward to hearing from you.“
Say you will follow up
 “I will call your office in the next two weeks to see if
you require any additional information regarding my
Check List
Use same paper as your resume
Good letter quality
No designs or colors
Full name
Write neatly
Make sure both the resume and letter are enclosed
Additional Letter Writing Assistance
NJCU Office of
Academic Career
Planning and Placement

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