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Contributors:Angie Olson, Allen Brizee.
Summary:

This page provides a down-and-dirty guide to writing cover letters. Here you will find brief answers and lists of what you should include in a cover letter, how to order and format such a letter, and what to do before sending it out.

What Is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter introduces you and your resume to potential employers or organizations you seek to join (non-profits, educational institutions, etc). It is the first document an employer sees, so it is often the first impression you will make. Take advantage of this important first impression and prepare the reader for your application, stating why you are writing, why you are a good match for the job and the organization, and when you will contact him or her.

Cover letters do more than introduce your resume, though. A cover letter's importance also includes its ability to:

The following resources are a compilation of tips and strategies to guide you throughout the writing of your cover letter. Please refer to the sample cover letters for a picture of the finished product.

Good luck writing!

Job seekers at Purdue University may find value in the Purdue career Wiki here.

The following are additional Purdue OWL resources to help you write your cover letter:

Contributors:Angie Olson, Allen Brizee.
Summary:

This page provides a down-and-dirty guide to writing cover letters. Here you will find brief answers and lists of what you should include in a cover letter, how to order and format such a letter, and what to do before sending it out.

Quick Content Tips for Cover Letters

If you want a short guide to writing cover letters, this is it! Be sure to examine the "Quick Formatting Tips for Cover Letters" for helpful information about your cover letter's page design. Please refer to the more in-depth cover letter handouts and the cover letter online workshop for explanations and more ideas.

There are four basic parts to a cover letter: heading, introduction, argument/body, and a closing. Here are some tips on what to include in each section:

Heading

Introduction

Argument/Body

Closing

Contributors:Angie Olson, Allen Brizee.
Summary:

This page provides a down-and-dirty guide to writing cover letters. Here you will find brief answers and lists of what you should include in a cover letter, how to order and format such a letter, and what to do before sending it out.

Quick Formatting Tips for Cover Letters

Remember that the basic format of a cover letter follows that of a business letter. As you design the page, think about the following:

Length

Spacing

Margins and Alignment

Contributors:Angie Olson, Allen Brizee.
Summary:

This page provides a down-and-dirty guide to writing cover letters. Here you will find brief answers and lists of what you should include in a cover letter, how to order and format such a letter, and what to do before sending it out.

Should I show off my knowledge of the company?

While it is important to use your knowledge of a company to show how you are a good match, you do not want to talk just about them. The cover letter should focus on your ability to meet a company's needs. For example:

American Advertising is committed to providing its clients with superior customer satisfaction and one-on-one collaboration. My experience shows that I can work with people from different backgrounds and cultures: I know how to put customer satisfaction first

Contributors:Angie Olson, Allen Brizee.
Summary:

This page provides a down-and-dirty guide to writing cover letters. Here you will find brief answers and lists of what you should include in a cover letter, how to order and format such a letter, and what to do before sending it out.

What should I do before sending off my cover letter?

In order to provide the most professional image of yourself to potential employers, you want to have polished documents with no mistakes. Here are some final tips to get this professional look: