Student Professional Development Center

Writing a Cover Letter

Your cover letter can either get you an interview or land your application in the trash. Use these tips, review outlines and examples as guidelines to create a professional and effective cover letter that is sure to impress potential employers.                                                             
Frequently Asked Questions

  • Keep it short – provide enough to grab interest. Just one page.
  • Do your homework – write a new cover letter for each application/company to avoid being generic. Read the job description thoroughly, research the company beforehand, and make sure that you reference specific qualifications that you have that fit with the company’s needs. 
  • Get excited – lack of enthusiasm is an easy reason for a hiring manager to forget your cover letter. Be confident in your skills, be passionate about the job opening and the company, and make sure to state that you are excited about the opportunity.
  • Don’t be a broken record –make sure that what you are writing about in your cover letter adds value to what you list on your resume. For example, if you list that you were president of a student organization, give an example about how leading recruitment efforts gave you experience leading a team, working with different audiences, and managing a budget.
  • Strut your stuff – provide specific examples about your skills; experiences and interests. Tell about a time that you led a collaborative initiative, worked under pressure, or successfully handled a crisis; companies want to know how your education and skills transfer to a work environment and address organizational needs. 
  • Proofread, proofread, and proofread – grammer and speling mistakes are the bost frequently cyted reason for a cover letter being   discorded by an employer!!! The sPDC and it’s staff of proffessionals help to   insure that your meterials are polished.
  • Presentation is everything – when submitting your cover letter by mail, print both your letter and your resume on the same high-quality paper. When submitting your cover letter by email, submit it as a PDF and title it with your first name, last name, and position, if applicable (i.e. John Smith Recruitment Coordinator Cover Letter)
  • Ask for help – applying for jobs and internships can be very stressful. Utilize the team of Student Professional Development Center advisors early on, and often, attend events, call to make an appointment, and check out this cover letter outline.
Student Professional Development CenterMoseley Center; Room 140
Express drop-in appointments from 2 - 4 p.m.careerservices@elon.edu
Open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.336-278-6538