What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is your chance to make a case for why an employer should hire you. It is a formal business letter stating your interest and explaining your qualifications for a professional opportunity. A cover letter builds off your resume, highlighting a few examples that you explain in narrative detail which directly relate to the job description. A cover letter is also an opportunity for you to showcase your writing abilities and thought process. Ideally, a cover letter will inspire a hiring committee to want to get to know you better through an interview. 

When Will I Write a Cover Letter?

You will write a cover letter for nearly every internship and job you apply for. A cover letter, sometimes referred to as a letter of interest, will be requested along with your resume as the main components of an application. Cover letters must be custom-written for each opportunity you apply for as they are specific to each position and organization. 

Note that a cover letter requires multiple drafts before it is ready to send out. There can be no typos or poor grammar, and each sentence must be clearly written with purpose. We highly encourage you to have your cover letters proofread by other people you trust, like an advisor or Peer Career Advisor (PCA) from the Loeb Center, or a friend or family member. Leave ample time for this editing process.

Cover Letter Basics

How To Begin Writing