Writing the Dreaded Cover Letter

Filed in From the Staff by on December 18, 2014

Hey Everyone,

4 more days stand between you and winter break! I hope finals week is going well for everyone so far. Today I wanted to talk to you about cover letters. A cover letter is basically an introduction and a way to sell yourself to an employer, in addition to your resume. Usually around one page long, it can sometimes be difficult to start writing, or can cause writer’s block. Don’t worry though, with the CDC Tipsheet on Writing Cover Letters, this process should be a breeze.

Shown below are the sections/paragraphs of the cover letter and how it should be divided:

Paragraph 1: The Opening – who you are, why you are writing this letter, and how did you hear about the job/company.

Paragraph 2: The Sales Pitch – In this section, read the job description carefully and try to see what matches well with your experience. Make sure to include a lot of the key words from the job description into this section of the letter. Also, instead of just stating skills, be sure to provide evidence or elaborate further.

Paragraph 3: Compliment the Company – why do you want to work at this company, go into detail and talk about what interests you about this company and connect it to your future goals.

Paragraph 4: Request for Further Action – make sure to thank the employer for taking the time to read through your application, and talk about next steps (such as personal interview), as well as contact information (email, phone number, etc).

The CDC has many ways to help you out with your cover letter. You can always make an appointment through JobFinder and select “Cover Letter”, or come into walk-in hours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 am – 4 pm where you can have a quick 15 minute meeting with a career counselor and you can ask questions regarding the cover letter, how to start writing one, or get it critiqued.

Something to remember: you should always submit a cover letter with your resume with applying for jobs, even when it’s not required. This is because it will show an employer that you truly care for their company and position. Other than that, please also make sure to tailor your cover letter for different jobs, don’t use a generic one for position you apply for. I hope this helps you out, and good luck with finals! Until next week,

– Omesh


About the Author ()

Hi everyone! My name is Omesh Kamat and I am a senior at WPI, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. I am also working towards getting minors in Aerospace Engineering and Computer Science. I am a Senior Peer Advisor at the CDC and I am here to help you and provide you with awesome tips! If you have any questions or suggestions for topics, please feel free to contact me!

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