One of the most confusing aspects of finding a job that you’ll face is writing appropriate job-search letters. Letters can enhance your employability, and every letter should be carefully written. Watch and listen to the Career Services workshop for more tips.

A cover letter should also demonstrate that your qualifications fit the requirements of the position. Study the position description carefully and decide on one or more themes— education, experience, interests and so forth—that show how well you fit the position. Link major job dimensions with your related past performance and experience.

After researching the position and company, you can then compose your letters to show how your background and talents can meet the reader’s needs; convince the reader of your value as a prospective employee; and persuade the reader to take action in your favor.

Define Yourself

Clarifying your career direction and articulating your value to employers will make an effective letter. Ideally, your letters should flow from, and be linked to, the following career development tasks:

  • Assessing your abilities, skills, knowledge, interests, preferences, values and motivations
  • Researching and evaluating occupations, jobs and employers
  • Defining your work objectives and career goals
  • Writing a professional-level resume
  • Planning and implementing your job-search campaign
  • Interviewing for job opportunities
  • Choosing appropriate work

Cover Letter Structure

  • Structure your application letters with 3 or 4 paragraphs:
  • Come to the point. Reveal your purpose and interest. Identify the position and your source of information. Introduce your themes.
  • Outline your strongest qualifications that match the position requirements based on the themes you selected. As much as possible, provide evidence of your related experiences and accomplishments. Refer to your enclosed resume.
  • Suggest an action plan. Request an interview, and indicate that you will call during a specific time period to discuss interview possibilities.
  • Express appreciation to the reader for his or her time and consideration.

Source: Job Choices: Diversity Addition 2012 “Art of Writing Job-Search Letters” by William J. Banis

Cover Letter Prospecting Letter

Additional Resources