Your cover letter makes the link between the qualifications in your resume and the requirements of the position. Make it succinct, relevant and well-worded. Use this document to answer questions. Can you do the job? Why are you interested? Use this space to professionally explain any gaps in employment or unusual major or career changes.
Cover Letter Do's and Dont's
- Briefly demonstrate to the employer that you are familiar with the position's responsibilities and the employer's organization.
- Personalize the cover letter by relating your desires for the job to your personal experience.
- Illustrate your qualifications with examples by providing specific achievements that can aid in the advancement of the organization's agenda.
- Send the letter to a specific person using their first and last name along with any professional titles (Doctor, Professor, Mr. or Ms.).
- When in doubt, address the letter to “Dear Hiring Manager:”
- If a specific person alerted you to the job opening, include that person’s name and professional affiliation (i.e., Professor John Dun of UC Merced’s School of Engineering suggested that I should contact you about your Sanitary Engineering opening.)
- Repeat your resume.
- Send the same generic cover letter for every job.
- Write more than one page.
- Use the exact wording in the job description for your skills.