Career Center
Cover Letters

A cover letter is a narrative bridge between what you have to offer and what employers indicate they need. A cover letter is a sales tool, to tell a potential employer what you are applying for, why you are the best candidate for the job, and why you really want to work for their organization.

HOW DO I USE A COVER LETTER?

Every resume you send out needs to have a cover letter. Job postings do not typically require a cover letter but it is still important to write one because you are able to use it as a tool to set yourself apart from your peers.  Mail, email, or attach a cover letter to all resumes and applications.  You can use a cover letter to apply for summer jobs, internships, professional careers, scholarship applications, graduate school applications, and to display in your portfolio.

READY TO GET STARTED?

  1. Research the job and employer - print off the job posting if there is one, review the company website or articles about the company, or interview someone that works there.
  2. Create a skills required list - write down at least 20 skills this employer expects you to possess. Use your research to assist you and then put yourself in the hiring manager's shoes and write down what you would be looking for if you had the power to hire.   You are able to use a cover letter to be more specific with your skills by using examples on your cover letter. 
  3. Create your cover letter in a blank Word document, it will be easier to update and revise than a template.
  4. Review your resources and start writing. 
  5. Have someone proof-read your cover letter.
  6. Ensure that your letter is business format, error free, laser printed on quality paper which complements or matches your résumé. For an added touch, use a matching envelope and send the cover letter and résumé in a full size 10 x 12 envelope.
  7. Self review your Cover Letter

WHAT DO I INCLUDE?

  1. Professional business letter format that includes your unique resume heading, date, and employer address
  2. Greeting should be to a specific person.  Give a quick phone call if needed. If you can't get a personal name, skip the greeting.
  3. First Paragraph – what job are you applying for, where did you see/hear about it, and one sentence about why you are great candidate.
  4. Second Paragraph – Why are you uniquely the best candidate for the job and why do you really want to work for this specific organization.
  5. Third Paragraph -  Thank the person reviewing your information and information about how to contact you or how you are going to contact them.

WHERE DO I FIND ADDITIONAL HELP?

  • Use Online resources - www.careerbuilder.com; www.collegerecruiter.com, or use a search engine to find cover letter examples for your specific career.
  • Get resources by walking into the Career Center office anytime between
    8AM – 5:00PM, M-F
  • You may receive a cover letter critique by emailing your request to: CLACS@ferris.edu.  If it is for a specific position include: the job posting, cover letter and your resume.