A cover letter is your first introduction to a potential employer. This is your way of telling the potential company what you bring to the table; what YOU can do for THEM.

**Try to keep this letter to one page, if possible. **


Introduce yourself

**Paragraph 1

  • If at all possible, address a specific person. Do your research on the company, the position and the person hiring. You can even call and ask who the hiring manager is for that position. If you cannot figure it out,  put the head of the department that is hiring. If you cannot find a name, put the hiring position.
    • i.e.  “Mr. John Smith”
    • if no name, then position: “Art Director”, “Art Department Hiring Committee”
  • Tell the employer the position for which you are applying and how you learned about the position. This is especially important if you were referred to the position by someone within the company. This is one of the places where networking will help you.
  • Basic information about yourself: your degree, areas of expertise or study, and career goals (if they align with the position for which you are applying)

Argue why you would be a good fit for the job

**Paragraph 2 (can be 1-3 paragraphs, if necessary)

  • The second paragraph is where you spend time telling the company why they should hire you.
  • Describe previous job experience, skills (hard and soft), extracurricular pursuits, etc. that will benefit the company and benefit that particular job.
  • Be personal. Tell a story. Give an example or two
  • Reflect back some of the language of their job posting.
  • Fill in places your resume cannot describe and explain aspects of your resume that you feel need explanation.
  • Do not restate your resume — expand or apply your resume experience to this company.
  • DO NOT apologize for areas of the job posting you are weak in or lack. This is a chance to positively identify your strengths, not dwell on your weaknesses.

Finish with a call to action paragraph

**Last paragraph

  • Tell them you look forward to an interview and that you will follow up with them in a week if you don’t hear back.
  • Thank them for their time.

Make sure you have included all of your contact information at the top of the page.

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Portfolio URL
  • Physical address


Have someone else read your letter.

  • Get feedback on tone, grammar, punctuation and spelling.
  • Read it out loud


  • This is a letter meant to be read. It should not be the same form letter you send to every company.
  • You can use a template to get you started with formatting, etc. but you want this to be personalized and to speak in your voice, not a formal, dry, non-specific template voice.





Good resources and Cover letter information came from the following sites: