Cover Letter Help

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Office of Career Services
Activities Building West
Room 102
180 Riverway
Boston, MA

Current Students, use MyCompass to make an appointment


Alumni, contact Director Kelly Graham at or 617-879-2056

A Cover Letter Is…

  • A companion to your resume that entices employers to offer you an interview. It offers you the chance to introduce yourself to the employer, to highlight specific experiences/skills in your resume, and to show your potential value to the organization.
  • An example of your writing, and therefore should be concise and well written.
  • Also called a "letter of interest" or "application letter."

Types of Cover Letters

Responding to an Ad/ Job Posting

  • State where you saw the job (website, newspaper, etc.).
  • Correctly state the job title and any reference number the organization may have included.
  • Always address the letter to a PERSON. Include the name and address of the organization

Open Inquiry (Not Responding to a Posting)

  • Think about your objective and tell them what you want. For example, "I am writing to express my interest in teaching at Avon Middle School." Or, "I am pursuing a career as an early childhood educator and believe my philosophy and methods coincide with the mission of Shady Hill Child Care."
  • Always address the letter to a PERSON: have the name and address, even if it is to the director of human resources.
  • Don't be afraid to send multiple cover letters and resumes to different people in the same organization.

Cover Letter Template and Content

Your Street Address
City, State Zip Code


Mr./ Ms. Employer First and Last Name
Street Address
City, State Zip Code

Dear Mr./ Ms. Employer Last Name:

1st section, 1 paragraph: Explain why you are writing. Name the position, field or general area about which you are asking. Share how you heard of the opening or organization. It is important to mention an aspect about the organization that especially interests you (your research on the organization would be useful here). Share why you are particularly interested in THIS employer, location, or type of work. Gain the reader's attention.

2nd section, 1-2 paragraphs: Explain specifically how you are qualified for the job. Give examples from your experience that demonstrate the skills needed for the position. If the job description includes required skills, indicate how you have those skills in this section. Consider including descriptions of things you have done that demonstrate a variety of the skills that the employer needs.

3rd section, 1 paragraph: Make your closing statement positive and specific so that the reader will take action. Ask for an opportunity to speak with the employer. Indicate when you will follow up with a phone call about the possibility of a meeting. If the employer is in another geographic area, you can state that you will be in the area at a specific time and would like to meet with the employer then. Include your phone number and email in this section. Thank the employer for his/ her consideration of your application materials.


(Your Handwritten Signature-except when emailing)

Type Your Name

Enclosure: (List the items you are including/attaching here, i.e., resume)

Sample Cover Letter

Checklist for a Winning Cover Letter

Your Cover Letter Should…

  • Match your resume (use the same high-quality paper, font and contact information).
  • Be no more than one page.
  • Highlight specific accomplishments and skills.
  • Be targeted toward a specific employer. Use key words from the job description, or
    organization website or mission statement.
  • Address a specific person (not sir or madam). Call or research online to find out the appropriate name and title.
  • Be written in active language, not passive.
  • Accompany every resume you send.

Your Cover Letter Should NOT…

  • Use gimmicks such as pictures, bright paper or creative fonts. They are distracting and they don't scan well.
  • Be full of sentences starting with "I" or "my."
  • Be poorly typed or copied.
  • Include inappropriate personal information (race, religion, political affiliation, marital status, etc.) or other irrelevant information.
  • Be the same for every job you apply for.

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