Crafting an Effective Cover Letter

Using the strong communication skills you’re developing through your liberal arts education, along with the information that you acquire from conducting employer research, make a compelling case to employers that you have the skills they are seeking.

An effective cover letter communicates to an employer which specific skills and experience you would bring to their specific position and always addresses why you’re interested in their organization. Your cover letter should not be a restatement of the entire résumé. Rather, using full paragraphs, it allows you to provide a comprehensive view of yourself as it relates to the position that you’re applying for.

Cover letters should be tailored for every position to which you apply. Cover letters take a good deal of thought and time to achieve the right level of professionalism and confidence that will appeal to employers.

Should You Send A Cover Letter?

The answer is very simple. Always send a cover letter with your résumé even when it’s optional, because it conveys your enthusiasm for the position and that you aim to exceed expectations. The one exception is if/when the instructions specifically state: “Do not include a cover letter.” If you’re applying for the position via email, copy and paste the cover letter in the body of your email and include the résumé as an attachment.

Cover Letter Help

Check out our Cover Letter Guide for more helpful tips and to view samples. But don’t be afraid to ask for help in the Career Center! And/or: have your cover letter reviewed by a Writing Center consultant or your roommate. The bottom line: It’s always better to have another pair of eyes look it over before you submit your application.