Career Services Office ♦ 202 Pryzbyla Center ♦ (202) 319-5623 ♦ http://careers.cua.edu ♦ email@example.com
What is a cover letter?
also called a “letter of application” or “letter of inquiry”
Expands on your resume. Details — in a 1/2 to 2/3 page written letter — why you are
qualified for a position by discussing your skills acquired from educational experiences,
jobs/internships, activities, community service, etc. Be sure to include why
you want to work for the specific organization.
Address the letter to a specific person. If you do not have a name, call the organi-
zation and ask for the name & title of the person who should receive your letter. Also
make sure to ask for the correct spelling. (Nothing is more off-putting to read a letter
in which your name is misspelled). If all else fails, “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To Whom it
May Concern” is appropriate.
Do not go over 1 page. Employers only have time to read one page. It is important
to be concise yet thorough in covering the key elements of your letter.
Research the organization to ensure that your cover letter is individualized and tar-
geted to that company’s specific position
Use action verbs to convey confidence. (see page 2)
Do not repeat the contents of your resume word-for-word. Instead demonstrate
how you possess a certain skill(s) in your resume by highlighting a specific experi-
ence or achievement. For example:
“I have a bachelor’s degree in finance and two years of experience as a
summer teller at the Maryland National Bank.”
“Due to my finance degree, I developed a broad insight into the issues
surrounding commercial loans. As a teller at Maryland National Bank, I
assisted a variety of customers in a highly professional manner, thus
demonstrating the importance that the bank places on customer
Five key points when writing your cover letter: