Cover Letter Introduction, Guidelines & Samples
The cover letter (or letter of interest) is a document commonly required to be included with your resume and employment application. The cover letter introduces your experiences and relevant skills to the employer. Liberal Arts Career Services recommends your cover letter be one page in length and be targeted to the employer and job or internship of interest. To assist with writing a targeted cover letter, review the job or internship posting for position information and requirements. When employers request a cover letter, they are most interested in your writing ability; therefore, spell-check, proofread, and have the document reviewed by a trusted peer/professional to reduce grammar and spelling errors.
Liberal Arts Career Services developed a cover letter template that includes recommendations for content and formatting to assist you with targeting the document to a specific employer and opportunity. The cover letter template and corresponding sample cover letters are intended to be examples to help facilitate the writing process. Do not copy the content verbatim in these samples as it may negatively affect your application.
When you complete a draft of your cover letter, visit Liberal Arts Career Services for assistance to ensure that your content highlights your talents and abilities. We can also help you target your skills to the intended employer. To schedule an appointment with a Career Coach call 512-471-7900 or check out our resume and cover letter walk-in hours. Don't forget to bring your resume and cover letter to your meeting with a Career Coach or Peer Advisor!
Templates & Samples
Cover Letter Guidelines
The guidelines included below are based on employer feedback received regarding student cover letters. Download a copy of our Cover Letter Guidelines, which includes a cover letter sample. For help with your cover letter, visit our walk-in hours or schedule an appointment with a Career Coach by calling 512-471-7900.
Download a copy of these Cover Letter Guidelines, which includes a cover letter sample.
- Length: One Page
- Font Style: Times New Roman, Arial, Garamond or Verdana (Tip: use same font style on resume)
- Text Size: 10, 11 or 12 (Tip: full page of text, minimize white space at top and bottom)
- Format: All information is left justified; utilize returns between paragraphs (Tip: do not indent paragraphs)
Cover Letter Sections
- Heading: Copy and paste resume heading (name and contact information) to the top of cover letter (Tip: brand your application)
- Employer Information: Include recruiter name, title, department, mailing address (Tip: utilize contact information provided in job/internship description; Tip: research employer web site for recruiter contact if not provided in application instructions)
- Opening Paragraph: Reference job/internship and employer and how you learned of the opportunity; discuss your education, relevant coursework; explain your interest and motivation to pursue this position (Tip: target the letter to the employer; Tip: discuss learning objectives for internship)
- Middle Paragraphs: Include 2-3 middle paragraphs focused on a specific experience and/or skill (Tip: connect your experience to the employer and opportunity); discuss paid, volunteer, leadership, student organizations, classroom/course, and internship experiences (Tip: provide detailed examples and quantify information)
- Concluding Paragraph: Restate your interest in the opportunity; include a follow-up statement when you will contact the employer (Tip: only insert a follow-up statement on applications that permit applicant follow-up and/or you have the employer contact information); end document with a thank you statement
- Valediction/Close: Sincerely, Your Name