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Cover Letter Guide

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The cover letter is one of your marketing documents (in addition to your resume) and your opportunity to bring additional focus to your resume with a specific reader in mind. You will write a unique and well-researched letter for every opportunity to which you apply. Before you begin constructing your cover letter, we encourage you to consider your lens.  What we mean is that we want you to adopt the mindset, or lens, of the person who will make the hiring decision.

  • What are the most important qualities needed to be successful in this role? 
  • What type of candidate will progress to the interview? 

Many of the answers you seek are found in the job description or through a conversation with a professional who works for the organization. Use all of these resources to identify the most important messages that you need to convey about your story in the cover letter. A Cover letter is an opportunity to tell your story in a compelling way by making a claim and substantiating that claim with examples. It follows much of the same structure as an essay.

  • Present a clear thesis.
  • Provide evidence to support your claims.
  • Bring the story to a close with a succinct and compelling conclusion.

Not sure a cover letter is necessary?   Think of the cover letter as part of the resume.  If someone asks for a resume, send a resume plus a cover letter, unless there is an explicit request otherwise. This is standard practice. Also, if you are applying online and have a small text box in which to provide additional information, consider this an opportunity for a mini-cover letter.

Steps to Success

Make a strong first impression in the first sentence of the first paragraph.  A persuasive first sentence tells the reader that you are serious and keeps them reading.  Interesting and compelling information about your candidacy should be introduced in your first paragraph.  The final paragraph is too late.

Go beyond general statements that could be true for the majority of candidates.  Common qualities or characteristics will not help you to uniquely stand out.  Trust the resume to cover the basics and use the cover letter to highlight bigger patterns of success or share an anecdote about your achievements that relates to a requirement of the position.

Tell the reader about you. Communicate your interest and motivation to apply by connecting your background and interests to your knowledge of the organization.  Avoid reporting facts.  The reader already knows his or her organization but wants to know about you and why you are applying.  This is a great opportunity to show your level of research on the position.

Use evidence to build credibility around every claim in your letter.  The reader wants to believe you and needs detailed illustrations of your past success to do so.  If you have included more than a couple of claims (two or three are sufficient) about your ability to thrive in the job, you are sacrificing depth for breadth and duplicating the work that the resume should do.  Move extra information for the cover letter to the resume to improve it and trust the resume.

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Cover Letter Template

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Undergraduate Cover Letter Examples

Graduate Cover Letter Examples

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Cover Letters

“Do I  really  have to write a cover letter?”

If it’s an option, we recommend it! A well-written cover letter:

  • Highlights your written communication skills;
  • Expands on specific experiences from your resume you want the hiring manager to know more about;
  • Shows you’ve done your homework on the company/organization;
  • Allows you to name drop someone who referred you to apply to the position.

A cover letter is like an advertisement! 

Opening paragraph

Catch the reader’s attention.  What position are you applying to? What interested you about the position/company? Have you spoken with someone in the company/organization about applying?

  • Take the time to customize your cover letter to fit the job description.
  • Make it clear you’ve done your homework on the company and position to stand out in the hiring pool.

Middle paragraph(s) 

Communicate your skills and experience with concrete examples.  

  • Your cover letter should not just restate what’s already on your resume.
  • Instead, it should provide additional detail and context for your experience.
  • This section can be anywhere between 1-3 paragraphs depending on the amount of experience you have, but your letter should fit onto one page.
  • Consider breaking these paragraphs into themes related to types of experience (e.g., academic and work), or skill sets (e.g., customer service, leadership).

Final paragraph 

Compel the reader to act and thank them for their time.

  • Reiterate your contact information so it’s extra easy to contact you for an interview.
  • You can also restate your interest in the position and their company.

Overall formatting 

  • Use the same header as your resume  with your name and contact information.
  • Keep your cover letter to  1 page in length .
  • Use block paragraph formatting  to follow the business letter style.
  • Cover Letter Tips
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Academic Cover Letters

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Media File: Academic Cover Letters

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When you're applying for a faculty position with a college or university, the cover letter is your first chance to make a strong impression as a promising researcher and teacher. Below you'll find some strategies for presenting your qualifications effectively in an academic context.

Distinctions between Academic and Business Cover Letters

A cover letter for an academic job has a function similar to one for a business job, but the content differs significantly in quantity and kind. While the general advice for business cover letters—such as tailoring your letter for the specific job and selling your strengths—still applies, a cover letter for an academic position should be long enough to highlight in some detail your accomplishments during your graduate education in research, teaching, departmental service, and so on. The typical letter is thus usually one and a half to two pages long, but not more than two—roughly five to eight paragraphs.

The First Paragraph

In the opening of your letter you need to convey some basic information, such as what specific position you are applying for (using the title given in the job notice) and where you learned of the opening. Since a cover letter is a kind of persuasive writing (persuading a hiring committee to include you on a list of candidates for further review), the first paragraph of your letter should also make the initial claim as to why you are a strong candidate for the position.

Tailoring for Your Audience

In an academic context knowing your audience means reading the job notice carefully and knowing the type of institution to which you are applying. Most graduate students have studied a broad range of material within their discipline before specializing in a narrow field for the dissertation project. Since it is rare to find a job notice specifying your exact qualifications, you need to emphasize those aspects of your graduate training that seem particularly relevant to the position advertised.

  • Job notice: If you've written a political science dissertation on populism in early twentieth-century US national politics, you probably won't respond to a notice seeking a specialist in international politics during the Cold War. But you may wish to apply for a position teaching twentieth-century US political parties and movements. In this case you would want to stress the relevance of your dissertation to the broad context of twentieth-century US politics, even though the study focuses narrowly on the pre-World War I period. You might also highlight courses taken, presentations given, or other evidence of your expertise that corresponds to the job notice.
  • Type of institution: Often the job notice will provide a brief description of the college or university, indicating such factors as size, ownership (public, private), affiliation (religious, nonsectarian), geography (urban, suburban, rural), and so on. These factors will influence the kind of information emphasized in your letter. For example, for a job at a small liberal arts college that focuses on undergraduate teaching, you would emphasize your teaching experience and pedagogical philosophy early in the letter before mentioning your dissertation. On the other hand, for a job at a large research university you would provide at least one detailed paragraph describing your dissertation early in the letter, even indicating your plans for future research, before mentioning your teaching and other experience.

Other Advice

If you're still working on your dissertation, you should mention somewhere in the letter when you expect to be awarded the Ph.D., even being as specific as to mention how many chapters have been completed and accepted, how many are in draft version, and what your schedule for completion is. Last-paragraph tips include the following:

  • Mention your contact information, including a phone number where you can be reached if you will be away during a holiday break.
  • If you will be attending an upcoming major professional conference in your field, such as the MLA convention for language and literature professionals, indicate that you will be available for an interview there. Be sure to mention that you are available for telephone or campus-visit interviews as well.
  • If you have some special connection to the school, type of institution, or region, such as having attended the school as an undergraduate or having grown up in the area, you may wish to mention that information briefly at some point.
  • Mention your willingness to forward upon request additional materials such as writing samples, teaching evaluations, and letters of recommendation.

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Cover Letter Writing Guide

The purpose of a cover letter.

Anatomy of a Cover Letter

Anatomy of a Cover Letter

Sometimes called a “letter of intent” or “letter of interest”, a cover letter is an introduction to the rest of your job application materials (e.g., resume/CV, research statement, teaching philosophy, writing samples, etc.). The purpose of a cover letter is to quickly summarize why you are applying to an organization or for a particular position, and what skills and knowledge you bring that make you the most suitable candidate for that position. The cover letter is often the first impression that a prospective employer will have of you, especially if they do not know you, or have not heard about you from their network of contacts. First impressions count, and so getting your cover letter right is a critical step in your job application process. Like all your job application materials, it may take time and focus to write your cover letters well. You will likely have several drafts before you come up with a final version that clearly articulates your skills and your understanding of the employer and the job requirements.

While your resume briefly states your skills, knowledge, experience, and (most importantly) what you have achieved using your abilities, the cover letter gives you an opportunity to create a narrative that shows the path you have taken in your career or education, emphasizing the skills you’ve used along the way, and explaining why the position you are applying to is the next desirable step on this path. To find out more about the structure of the cover letter, you can see some examples here. Also, it is important to know that there are some differences between cover letters written for faculty positions and those written for non-faculty positions. You can review some of the key differences of cover letters for faculty positions here .

When you start the process of looking for job opportunities, you will probably read through lots of job advertisements. You will notice that most job ads ask for a cover letter of some sort. The exception to this might be when you apply for some jobs through an employer’s online job application system, where they may ask you to upload your letter as a document, cut and paste the contents of your letter into specific fields, or they may not ask for a letter at all. For most jobs, and whenever you are submitting a formal application, cover letters are usually expected – and can be very helpful – even if a letter is not requested in the job ad itself.

Cover Letter Etiquette

You might be tempted to send the same version of your cover letter to multiple employers, especially if you are applying for similar types of positions. Don’t. It can be fairly obvious to an employer when they receive a stock letter, and this will make a bad first impression. Tailor your letter to the employer and to the specific job. This may require you to do some background research on the employer’s website, or talk to someone you know (or don’t yet know) who already works there. Use this information to explain why you want to work at that particular place, doing that particular job. It takes time, but it is worth it. You’ll probably have more luck with three tailored cover letters than with 30 stock letters sent out to 30 different employers. Your cover letter will be read by someone as part of a formal job application, so make certain that it is free of spelling mistakes, grammar issues, and typos. Make sure your cover letter fits onto 1 page (for non-academic position applications), has consistent margins and formatting, and a readable font that is between 10-12pts.

When Not to Use Cover Letters: There are some occasions during the job search process where cover letters shouldn’t be used. During career fairs, you would typically only hand out your resume to employers (and a 1-page resume is ideal). Employers want to be able to quickly scan your resume for the key points, and you should be able to verbally communicate some of the ideas that a letter might contain (for example, why this company interests you). Recruiters won’t have the time to read a letter.

Timeline: Getting Started with your Cover Letter

Step 1: The first step to writing a good cover letter is to first have a good resume. For information on putting these documents together, click here . Your cover letter expands upon some of the information you include within these documents, and describes the role you have played in achieving your academic or non-academic goals (i.e., showing how your experiences have made you the best candidate for the position).

Step 2: The next step is to find an open position that interests you, or at least the type of job to which you want to apply. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all cover letter, as each should be tailored to each job you apply to, but there will certainly be parts of the letter that will stay much the same, and be appropriate for multiple jobs. This might mean changing some of the key words in the letter, so that you are describing your experience in the employer’s language (using some of their keywords), not your own.

Step 3: Go through the job ad and carefully note all of the requirements and skills the employer is looking for. Based on your background research of the employer and the people you have spoken to who know about this employer, try to identify the two or three most important skills that the employer is looking for. You should then try to create a cover letter that illustrates that you have these skills and have used them effectively. Your cover letter will be stronger if it addresses these requirements and the job duties.  Ensure that you talk about your experiences in the language used by the employer, echoing their words in descriptions you use to illustrate your skills. Write out a list of the keywords that you highlighted from the job ad, and then next to each of these words, write a brief statement that illustrates the fact that you have this skill/ability/knowledge using a specific example. You may not have an experience for all of the requirements, but the more you think about what you have achieved, the more likely it is that you will find something relevant to talk about. When you have all of this information, then you can begin to structure it within the format of a formal cover letter.

Cover letter template

Here is a general template for a cover letter:

Your Name Street Address City, State, Zip Email and phone number

Today’s Date

Mr./Ms./Dr. Name Title Organization

Dear ______:

The opening paragraph should explain why you are writing, giving your specific employment interest. Mention how you found out about the position. If it was advertised, refer to the website or resource in which you saw it. If a contact told you about it, say so. It is also helpful to include an overall summary of the key skills, knowledge areas, or experiences that you are bring to this role right here in the first paragraph. If you start off with these very specific conclusions that confidently state that you have what the employer is looking for, then the reader will also have a lot of confidence that your letter and resume are worth reading. The next paragraphs will then expand on and illustrate what you are summarizing in this first paragraph.

The middle paragraph(s) should summarize the aspects of your background which will interest the employer. The more information you have about the organization and its needs, the better.  Discuss your qualifications in terms of the contributions you can make. While you should not repeat your resume verbatim, don’t hesitate to refer to the most important information discussed in it. Ideally, both your cover letter and your CV/resume would be able to stand alone. It is not necessary to describe yourself in superlatives. Rather than saying, “I can make a uniquely valuable contribution to your organization,” give the employer enough relevant, targeted information to allow the reader to reach that conclusion independently. Be specific and credible. Tell stories that have a touch of drama, for example: “When I was working as the president of X student group, one of the challenges that we faced was XYZ.” Once you have created a touch of drama, describe how you used your skills to overcome it, for example: “So what I had to do was build relationships with administrators on campus by communicating the critical role our group played in doing ABC.” Once you have told the story, reflect on it in terms of how this is particularly relevant for the reader, for example: “I really enjoyed being placed in a position where I had to reach out to contact and bring them all together by creating a shared vision for everyone to buy into. I think this combination of strong marketing skills and relationship building will be valuable to the role of Advertising Associate.”

The closing paragraph should explain why the position and the particular organization is attractive to you, and should hopefully pave the way for the interview. Provide an authentic reason why you are excited about bringing your skills to the role, and what you will also gain from being in the role. Speaking with former or current employees at the organization as part of your networking will help in this regards.  You can also offer to send any additional information, restate your contact details, and state that you look forward to hearing from them.

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Academic Cover Letters

What is this handout about.

The long list of application materials required for many academic teaching jobs can be daunting. This handout will help you tackle one of the most important components: the cover letter or letter of interest. Here you will learn about writing and revising cover letters for academic teaching jobs in the United States of America.

What is an academic cover letter?

An academic cover letter describes your experiences and interest as a candidate for a specific position. It introduces you to the hiring committee and demonstrates how your academic background fits with the description of the position.

What do cover letters for academic teaching jobs typically contain?

At their most basic level, academic cover letters accomplish three things: one, they express your interest in the job; two, they provide a brief synopsis of your research and teaching; and three, they summarize your past experiences and achievements to illustrate your competence for the job. For early-career scholars, cover letters are typically no more than two pages (up to four pages for senior scholars). Occasionally, a third page may make sense for an early-career scholar if the application does not require a separate teaching statement and/or research statement. Digital versions of cover letters often contain hyperlinks to your CV or portfolio page. For some fields, cover letters may also include examples of your work, including music, popular articles, and other multimedia related to your research, service, or teaching available online. Typically, letters appear on departmental or university letterhead and include your signature. Above all, a strong cover letter presents your accomplishments and your familiarity with the institution and with the position.

How should I prepare to write my academic cover letter?

Like all writing, composing a cover letter is a process. The process may be as short as a few hours or as long as several weeks, but at the end the letter should present you as a strong candidate for the job. The following section has tips and questions for thinking through each stage of this writing process. You don’t need to answer all of these questions to write the letter; they are meant to help you brainstorm ideas.

Before you begin writing your cover letter, consider researching the institution, the department, and the student population. Incorporating all three aspects in your letter will help convey your interest in the position.

Get to know the institution. When crafting your cover letter, be aware of the type of institution to which you are applying. Knowing how the institution presents itself can help you tailor your letter and make it more specific.

  • Where is the institution located?
  • Is it on a quarter-system or semester-system?
  • What type of institution is it? Is it an R1? Is it an R2? Is it a liberal arts college? Is it an HBCU? Is it a community college? A private high school?
  • What is the institution’s culture? Is it teaching-focused or research-focused? Does it privilege experiential learning? Does it value faculty involvement outside the classroom? Is it affiliated with a specific religious tradition?
  • Does it have any specific institutional commitments?
  • How does the institution advocate for involvement in its local community?
  • What are the professional development opportunities for new and junior faculty?

Learn about the department. Knowing the specific culture and needs of the department can help you reach your audience: the department members who will be reading your documents and vetting you as a candidate.

  • Who is on the search committee? Who is the search committee chair?
  • What is the official name of the department?
  • Which different subfields make up the department?
  • Is it a dual appointment or a position in a dual department?
  • How does the department participate in specific types of student outreach?
  • Does the department have graduate students? Does it offer a terminal Master’s degree, Ph.D., or both? How large are the cohorts? How are they funded?
  • Does the department encourage or engage in interdisciplinary work?
  • Does the majority of the department favor certain theoretical or methodological approaches?
  • Does the department have partnerships with local institutions? If so, which ones?
  • Is the department attempting to fill a specific vacancy, or is it an entirely new position?
  • What are the typical course offerings in the department? Which courses might you be expected to teach? What courses might you be able to provide that are not currently available?

Consider the students. The search committee will often consider how you approach instructing and mentoring the student body. Sometimes committees will even reserve a position for a student or solicit student feedback on a candidate:

  • What populations constitute the majority of the undergraduate population?
  • Have there been any shifts in the student population recently?
  • Do students largely come from in-state or out-of-state?
  • Is there an international student population? If so, from which countries?
  • Is the university recruiting students from traditionally underrepresented populations?
  • Are students particularly active on campus? If so, how?

Many answers to these questions can be found both in the job description and on the institution’s website. If possible, consider contacting someone you know at the institution to ask about the culture directly. You can also use the institution’s course catalog, recruitment materials, alumni magazine, and other materials to get answers to these questions. The key is to understand the sort of institution to which you are applying, its immediate needs, and its future trajectory.

Remember, there is a resource that can help you with all three aspects—people. Reach out to your advisor, committee members, faculty mentors, and other contacts for insight into the prospective department’s culture and faculty. They might even help you revise your letter based on their expertise. Think of your job search as an opportunity to cultivate these relationships.

After you have done some initial research, think about how your experiences have prepared you for the job and identify the ones that seem the most relevant. Consider your previous research, internships, graduate teaching, and summer experiences. Here are some topics and questions to get you started thinking about what you might include.

Research Experiences. Consider how your research has prepared you for an academic career. Since the letter is a relatively short document, select examples of your research that really highlight who you are as a scholar, the direction you see your work going, and how your scholarship will contribute to the institution’s research community.

  • What are your current research interests?
  • What topics would you like to examine in the future?
  • How have you pursued those research interests?
  • Have you traveled for your research?
  • Have you published any of your research? Have you presented it at a conference, symposium, or elsewhere?
  • Have you worked or collaborated with scholars at different institutions on projects? If so, what did these collaborations produce?
  • Have you made your research accessible to your local community?
  • Have you received funding or merit-based fellowships for your research?
  • What other research contributions have you made? This may include opinion articles, book chapters, or participating as a journal reviewer.
  • How do your research interests relate to those of other faculty in the department or fill a gap?

Teaching Experience. Think about any teaching experience you may have. Perhaps you led recitations as a teaching assistant, taught your own course, or guest lectured. Pick a few experiences to discuss in your letter that demonstrate something about your teaching style or your interest in teaching.

  • What courses are you interested in teaching for the department? What courses have you taught that discussed similar topics or themes?
  • What new courses can you imagine offering the department that align with their aim and mission?
  • Have you used specific strategies that were helpful in your instruction?
  • What sort of resources do you typically use in the classroom?
  • Do you have anecdotes that demonstrate your teaching style?
  • What is your teaching philosophy?
  • When have you successfully navigated a difficult concept or topic in the classroom, and what did you learn?
  • What other opportunities could you provide to students?

Internships/Summer/Other Experiences. Brainstorm a list of any conferences, colloquiums, and workshops you have attended, as well as any ways you have served your department, university, or local community. This section will highlight how you participate in your university and scholarly community. Here are some examples of things you might discuss:

  • Professional development opportunities you may have pursued over the summer or during your studies
  • International travel for research or presentations
  • Any research you’ve done in a non-academic setting
  • Presentations at conferences
  • Participation in symposia, reading groups, working groups, etc.
  • Internships in which you may have implemented your research or practical skills related to your discipline
  • Participation in community engagement projects
  • Participation in or leadership of any scholarly and/or university organizations

In answering these questions, create a list of the experiences that you think best reflect you as a scholar and teacher. In choosing which experiences to highlight, consider your audience and what they would find valuable or relevant. Taking the time to really think about your reader will help you present yourself as an applicant well-qualified for the position.

Writing a draft

Remember that the job letter is an opportunity to introduce yourself and your accomplishments and to communicate why you would be a good fit for the position. Typically, search committees will want to know whether you are a capable job candidate, familiar with the institution, and a great future addition to the department’s faculty. As such, be aware of how the letter’s structure and content reflect your preparedness for the position.

The structure of your cover letter should reflect the typical standards for letter writing in the country in which the position is located (the list below reflects the standards for US letter writing). This usually includes a salutation, body, and closing, as well as proper contact information. If you are affiliated with a department, institution, or organization, the letter should be on letterhead.

  • Use a simple, readable font in a standard size, such as 10-12pt. Some examples of fonts that may be conventional in your field include Arial, Garamond, Times New Roman, and Verdana, among other similar fonts.
  • Do not indent paragraphs.
  • Separate all paragraphs by a line and justify them to the left.
  • Make sure that any included hyperlinks work.
  • Include your signature in the closing.

Before you send in your letter, make sure you proofread and look for formatting mistakes. You’ll read more about proofreading and revising later in this handout!

The second most important aspect of your letter is its content. Since the letter is the first chance to provide an in-depth introduction, it should expand on who you are as a scholar and possible faculty member. Below are some elements to consider including when composing your letter.

Identify the position you are applying to and introduce yourself. Traditionally, the first sentence of a job letter includes the full name of the position and where you discovered the job posting. This is also the place to introduce yourself and describe why you are applying for this position. Since the goal of a job letter is to persuade the search committee to include you on the list of candidates for further review, you may want to include an initial claim as to why you are a strong candidate for the position. Some questions you might consider:

  • What is your current status (ABD, assistant professor, post-doc, etc.)?
  • If you are ABD, have you defended your dissertation? If not, when will you defend?
  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • Why are you a strong candidate for this position?

Describe your research experience and interests. For research-centered positions, such as positions at R1 or other types of research-centered universities, include information about your research experience and current work early in the letter. For many applicants, current work will be the dissertation project. If this is the case, some suggest calling your “dissertation research” your “current project” or “work,” as this may help you present yourself as an emerging scholar rather than a graduate student. Some questions about your research that you might consider:

  • What research experiences have you had?
  • What does your current project investigate?
  • What are some of the important methods you applied?
  • Have you collaborated with others in your research?
  • Have you acquired specific skills that will be useful for the future?
  • Have you received special funding? If so, what kind?
  • Has your research received any accolades or rewards?
  • What does your current project contribute to the field?
  • Where have you presented your research?
  • Have you published your research? If so, where? Or are you working on publishing your work?
  • How does your current project fit the job description?

Present your plans for future research. This section presents your research agenda and usually includes a description of your plans for future projects and research publications. Detailing your future research demonstrates to the search committee that you’ve thought about a research trajectory and can work independently. If you are applying to a teaching-intensive position, you may want to minimize this section and/or consider including a sentence or two on how this research connects to undergraduate and/or graduate research opportunities. Some questions to get you started:

  • What is your next research project/s?
  • How does this connect to your current and past work?
  • What major theories/methods will you use?
  • How will this project contribute to the field?
  • Where do you see your specialty area or subfield going in the next ten years and how does your research contribute to or reflect this?
  • Will you be collaborating with anyone? If so, with whom?
  • How will this future project encourage academic discourse?
  • Do you already have funding? If so, from whom? If not, what plans do you have for obtaining funding?
  • How does your future research expand upon the department’s strengths while simultaneously diversifying the university’s research portfolio? (For example, does your future research involve emerging research fields, state-of-the-art technologies, or novel applications?)

Describe your teaching experience and highlight teaching strategies. This section allows you to describe your teaching philosophy and how you apply this philosophy in your classroom. Start by briefly addressing your teaching goals and values. Here, you can provide specific examples of your teaching methods by describing activities and projects you assign students. Try to link your teaching and research together. For example, if you research the rise of feminism in the 19th century, consider how you bring either the methodology or the content of your research into the classroom. For a teaching-centered institution, such as a small liberal arts college or community college, you may want to emphasize your teaching more than your research. If you do not have any teaching experience, you could describe a training, mentoring, or coaching situation that was similar to teaching and how you would apply what you learned in a classroom.

  • What is your teaching philosophy? How is your philosophy a good fit for the department in which you are applying to work?
  • What sort of teaching strategies do you use in the classroom?
  • What is your teaching style? Do you lecture? Do you emphasize discussion? Do you use specific forms of interactive learning?
  • What courses have you taught?
  • What departmental courses are you prepared to teach?
  • Will you be able to fill in any gaps in the departmental course offerings?
  • What important teaching and/or mentoring experiences have you had?
  • How would you describe yourself in the classroom?
  • What type of feedback have you gotten from students?
  • Have you received any awards or recognition for your teaching?

Talk about your service work. Service is often an important component of an academic job description. This can include things like serving on committees or funding panels, providing reviews, and doing community outreach. The cover letter gives you an opportunity to explain how you have involved yourself in university life outside the classroom. For instance, you could include descriptions of volunteer work, participation in initiatives, or your role in professional organizations. This section should demonstrate ways in which you have served your department, university, and/or scholarly community. Here are some additional examples you could discuss:

  • Participating in graduate student or junior faculty governance
  • Sitting on committees, departmental or university-wide
  • Partnerships with other university offices or departments
  • Participating in community-partnerships
  • Participating in public scholarship initiatives
  • Founding or participating in any university initiatives or programs
  • Creating extra-curricular resources or presentations

Present yourself as a future faculty member. This section demonstrates who you will be as a colleague. It gives you the opportunity to explain how you will collaborate with faculty members with similar interests; take part in departmental and/or institution wide initiatives or centers; and participate in departmental service. This shows your familiarity with the role of faculty outside the classroom and your ability to add to the departmental and/or institutional strengths or fill in any gaps.

  • What excites you about this job?
  • What faculty would you like to collaborate with and why? (This answer may be slightly tricky. See the section on name dropping below.)
  • Are there any partnerships in the university or outside of it that you wish to participate in?
  • Are there any centers associated with the university or in the community that you want to be involved in?
  • Are there faculty initiatives that you are passionate about?
  • Do you have experience collaborating across various departments or within your own department?
  • In what areas will you be able to contribute?
  • Why would you make an excellent addition to the faculty at this institution?

Compose a strong closing. This short section should acknowledge that you have sent in all other application documents and include a brief thank you for the reader’s time and/or consideration. It should also state your willingness to forward additional materials and indicate what you would like to see as next steps (e.g., a statement that you look forward to speaking with the search committee). End with a professional closing such as “Sincerely” or “Kind Regards” followed by your full name.

If you are finding it difficult to write the different sections of your cover letter, consider composing the other academic job application documents (the research statement, teaching philosophy, and diversity statement) first and then summarizing them in your job letter.

Different kinds of letters may be required for different types of jobs. For example, some jobs may focus on research. In this case, emphasize your research experiences and current project/s. Other jobs may be more focused on teaching. In this case, highlight your teaching background and skills. Below are two models for how you could change your letter’s organization based on the job description and the institution. The models offer a guide for you to consider how changing the order of information and the amount of space dedicated to a particular topic changes the emphasis of the letter.

Research-Based Position Job Letter Example:

Teaching-based position job letter example:.

Remember your first draft does not have to be your last. Try to get feedback from different readers, especially if it is one of your first applications. It is not uncommon to go through several stages of revisions. Check out the Writing Center’s handout on editing and proofreading and video on proofreading to help with this last stage of writing.

Potential pitfalls

Using the word dissertation. Some search committee members may see the word “dissertation” as a red flag that an applicant is too focused on their role as a graduate student rather than as a prospective faculty member. It may be advantageous, then, to describe your dissertation as current research, a current research project, current work, or some other phrase that demonstrates you are aware that your dissertation is the beginning of a larger scholarly career.

Too much jargon. While you may be writing to a specific department, people on the search committee might be unfamiliar with the details of your subfield. In fact, many committees have at least one member from outside their department. Use terminology that can easily be understood by non-experts. If you want to use a specific term that is crucial to your research, then you should define it. Aim for clarity for your reader, which may mean simplification in lieu of complete precision.

Overselling yourself. While your job letter should sell you as a great candidate, saying so (e.g., “I’m the ideal candidate”) in your letter may come off to some search committee members as presumptuous. Remember that although you have an idea about the type of colleague a department is searching for, ultimately you do not know exactly what they want. Try to avoid phrases or sentences where you state you are the ideal or the only candidate right for the position.

Paying too much attention to the job description. Job descriptions are the result of a lot of debate and compromise. If you have skills or research interests outside the job description, consider including them in your letter. It may be that your extra research interests; your outside skills; and/or your extracurricular involvements make you an attractive candidate. For example, if you are a Latin Americanist who also happens to be well-versed in the Spanish Revolution, it could be worth mentioning the expanse of your research interests because a department might find you could fill in other gaps in the curriculum or add an additional or complementary perspective to the department.

Improper sendoff. The closing of your letter is just as important as the beginning. The end of the letter should reflect the professionalism of the document. There should be a thank-you and the word sincerely or a formal equivalent. Remember, it is the very last place in your letter where you present yourself as a capable future colleague.

Small oversights. Make sure to proofread your letter not just for grammar but also for content. For example, if you use material from another letter, make sure you do not include the names of another school, department, or unassociated faculty! Or, if the school is in Chicago, make sure you do not accidentally reference it as located in the Twin Cities.

Name dropping. You rarely know the internal politics of the department or institution to which you are applying. So be cautious about the names you insert in your cover letters. You do not want to unintentionally insert yourself into a departmental squabble or add fire to an interdepartmental conflict. Instead, focus on the actions you will undertake and the initiatives you are passionate about.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Ball, Cheryl E. 2013. “Understanding Cover Letters.” Inside Higher Ed , November 3, 2013. .

Borchardt, John. 2014. “Writing a Winning Cover Letter.” Science Magazine , August 6, 2014. .

Helmreich, William. 2013. “Your First Academic Job.” Inside Higher Ed , June 17, 2013. .

Kelsky, Karen. 2013. “How To Write a Journal Article Submission Cover Letter.” The Professor Is In (blog), April 26, 2013. .

Tomaska, Lubomir, and Josef Nosek. 2008. “Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Cover Letter to Accompany a Job Application for an Academic Position.” PLoS Computational Biology 14(5). .

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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University Student Cover Letter Samples & Examples That Worked in 2024

Julia Gergelova — Resume Writer

Embarking on the career path, the first step to success is creating a compelling university student cover letter . This powerful tool can unlock doors to internships, jobs, and exciting opportunities within your field of study.

And so, in this guide, we'll equip you with useful tips, real-life examples, and compelling templates, that'll help you get closer to your dream job. Read on and learn about:

  • Creating a visually appealing header for your university cover letter
  • Researching employers to craft a personalized cover letter
  • Writing a compelling introduction as a university student
  • Showcasing your best skills and accomplishments as a university student
  • Completing your university student cover letter with a strong conclusion
  • Finding the best job search resources for university students

Research Extern at American Foundation for Suicide Prevention CL Sample

1. How to create a visually appealing header for your university cover letter

To begin writing your university student cover letter, your first key step is to create a header.

A cover letter header serves two main purposes: to introduce you to the employer and to give your cover letter an appealing visual structure .

Within your header, you should include:

  • Your name and professional title (if you do not have a professional title yet, you can use the title of the job you are applying for and add “Student” at the end)
  • Your professional contact information
  • The name of the company or organization you are applying to

Here is an example of a well-formatted university student cover letter header

Mason Wilds , Hospitality Management Student (123) 456-7890 | [email protected] |

To: Hilton Head Hotels 1234 Street Address New York, NY

2. How to personalize your university student cover letter

One crucial step to take before beginning to write the body text of your cover letter is to research the employer beforehand. This gives you the opportunity to learn more about them and uncover key details about the company that you can reference throughout your cover letter .

Important information to look for during your research includes:

  • Major projects, partnerships, or programs the company is involved in
  • The company’s goals, values, and requirements for staff
  • The person at the company responsible for hiring and reviewing applications

Using the third piece of information, you can create a personalized greeting that addresses this specific person by name. This lets them know immediately the effort you have put into researching and tailoring your cover letter for them specifically.

Here are 3 examples of personalized cover letter greetings

  • Dear Mr. John Applewood,

Dear Hiring Manager John Applewood,

  • Dear Mr. John Applewood & the Hiring Department,

3. How to write a compelling introduction as a university student

Next up, you need to begin the body text of your cover letter with a compelling introduction .

To write a strong introduction as a university student, make sure to include:

  • A brief overview of your academic experience (most students will have minimal professional experience, making academic experience highly important to describe in a cover letter)
  • Your specialized area of expertise (such as the degree you are working toward)
  • A concise statement on why you are a great fit for the position

Here is an example of a great introduction from a university student’s cover letter

I am a junior at the University of South Carolina, with two semesters left to complete my degree in Business and Hospitality Management. As I approach my final year of school, I am seeking an internship opportunity with a major hotel chain to hone my hospitality skills and build industry connections. Having earned a spot on my university’s Dean’s List for three consecutive years, I will bring an exceptional work ethic and commitment to excellent service to this position.

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4. How to showcase your best skills and accomplishments as a university student

Once your introduction is written and you are satisfied with it, you can move on to writing the remaining body paragraphs of your university student cover letter.

In these body paragraphs, your main goal is to showcase your top skills or accomplishments that are relevant to the job you are applying for. As well as describing these qualifications , you can also use the research you did earlier to reference specific needs of the company and how your skills meet those needs.

Here are 6 examples of skills to describe in a university student cover letter

  • Communication (always describe your style of communication)
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Critical thinking
  • Time management
  • Responsibility

Here is an example of how to describe an accomplishment in a cover letter

As a student at the University of South Carolina, I have served as an Orientation Leader for two years, helping to bring new undergraduate students into the fold and get comfortable in their new surroundings. I recently earned the position of Head Orientation Leader thanks to my overwhelming positive reviews from new students I have mentored. Of the 300+ students I have worked with, 95% gave me a five out of five-star rating at the end of their Orientations.

5. How to complete your university student cover letter with a strong conclusion

The last step to writing your university student cover letter is to craft a strong conclusion . In this conclusion, you should include:

  • The best times and days of the week to contact you
  • When you are anticipating a response from the employer
  • When you plan to follow up with the employer
  • A formal sign-off

Here is an example of a strong conclusion from a university student's cover letter

I am honored to be considered for this position and hope to hear from you within the next week regarding this opportunity. You may best reach me at (123) 456-7890 on Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. As I am excited to learn more about this opportunity, I do plan to follow up next Monday morning if I have not heard back about this position.

Many Thanks,

[Applicant Name]

6. Useful resources for job-seeking university students

As a university student standing at the threshold of a professional career, having the right set of resources can truly empower your job hunt. Let's explore the must-haves in your arsenal:

  • University career services: Your own university is a potent resource. Career Services offices often provide resume and cover letter reviews, interview preparation, and job placement assistance. Don't overlook these gems.
  • Job search platforms: From LinkedIn to Indeed , these platforms teem with job opportunities perfect for recent graduates. They also offer search filters to streamline the hunt and make it less daunting.
  • Field-specific job boards: Niche job boards like Idealist (for non-profits) or Dice (for tech) cater to specific fields, making your job search more focused and productive.
  • Online portfolios: Platforms like Behance or GitHub , depending on your field of study, allow you to create an online portfolio showcasing your work. This can be a powerful supplement to your university student cover letter and resume.
  • Networking events: Attend career fairs, industry conferences, or university alumni events to build your professional network. You never know which connection might lead to a promising opportunity.
  • Internship websites: Websites like Chegg Internships or WayUp specifically cater to students seeking internships, often the stepping stone to a full-time job. 

Armed with these resources, you're ready to embark on the exciting and rewarding journey of your job search. Happy hunting!

University Student Cover Letter FAQ

Draw attention to your academic achievements, any relevant coursework, and transferrable skills you’ve developed throughout your academic career. If you have undertaken internships or projects, summarize what you’ve learned from these experiences and how they can bring value to the prospective role.

Aim to keep it concise and engaging. Typically, a cover letter should not exceed one page. Remember, it's about the quality of your words, not the quantity.

While it's fine to have a standard outline, your cover letter should always be tailored to each job application. Personalizing your cover letter for each role can show the hiring manager your genuine interest in their specific opportunity.

It's generally a good idea to include a cover letter when applying for a job. It gives you another platform to sell your skills and show your enthusiasm for the role and company.

Yes, definitely. Extracurricular activities can highlight your team skills, leadership qualities, and dedication. Remember to connect them back to the skills or qualities the job posting is seeking.

Julia Gergelova — Resume Writer

Julia Gergelova

Julia is a professional writer, translator and graphic designer. She holds degrees in translation and interpretation, and has international work experience from a number of different countries in Europe as well as China and Panama. Julia formerly taught academic writing and as a graphic designer contributed to outlets such as  The Business of Business . She has a passion for lifelong learning and good coffee.

All student cover letter examples

  • Formal Sciences Student
  • High School Student
  • Humanities Student
  • Student Internship
  • Natural Sciences Student
  • Professions And Applied Sciences Student
  • Social Sciences Student

All university student cover letter examples

Finance Intern Cover Letter Example

Related university student resume examples

Human Resources Intern Resume Example

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Cover Letters

Your cover letter is just as important as your resume. You have written your resume as a document that represents you, and the recruiting manager has written a position description that reflects the organization’s needs. A cover letter ties them together. It’s more specific than a resume and highlights projects or efforts that align with the requirements of the position or program.

You should plan to submit a cover letter along with your resume (or CV) for every position or program you apply for. The only exception is if the internship/job posting specifically notes not to include one.

  • Alignment: Left aligned, after the header
  • Length: 1 page and 3-4 paragraphs at maximum

Date, Recipient, Salutation

  • Date: This is first after your header. Spell out the month and include the year.
  • Recipient: This comes after the date and is usually 3-5 lines. Include the organization’s name, the name and title of the person you are addressing (if you have this information), and the organization’s address or other contact information (if you’re able to find this).
  • Salutation or Greeting: If you are addressing a specific person, use their name in the salutation (“Dear Firstname Lastname” or “Dear Mr./Ms. Lastname”). If not, use something generic such as “hiring manager,” “hiring committee,” or “selection committee.”

Letter Body

The body of your cover letter should be a maximum of 3-4 paragraphs and address 3 main points: what you know about the organization, what you are applying for, and what you can do for them.

  • Introduction and Interest (paragraph 1): Include what you are applying for, what you know about the organization, and why you are interested
  • The Evidence (paragraph 2): Outline what you can do for them, make a case for why you are the candidate to hire
  • The Connection (paragraph 2-3): Make the connections between the desired qualifications listed in the posting to your experience and skills.
  • The Closing (paragraph 3-4): Reiterate your interest, express gratitude, and note that you look forward to hearing from them. Also, provide contact information if it is not in the header.

Use “Sincerely” followed by your full name on the next line. This is your electronic signature. You can use a script font if you prefer or keep it the same as the rest of the letter.

  • Cover letter sample 1 (pdf) , showing paragraph style
  • Cover letter sample 2 (pdf) , showing bullet style
  • Cover letter sample 3 (pdf) , showing preferred name and bullet style
  • Attend a cover letter presentation to get started. Check the calendar for upcoming sessions
  • Read more tips and advice on the blog
  • Bring a draft in for a cover letter review

StandOut CV

University cover letter examples

Andrew Fennell photo

If you’re applying for jobs at a university, you need a cover letter that will make you stand out amongst all the other qualified candidates.

It’s key that you present yourself in a manner that will persuade the recruitment team to shortlist you for interview, and to help you impress, we’ve put together this detailed guide on how to write a standout cover letter.

We’ll share all our expert advice, along with some university cover letter examples to inspire you.

CV templates 

University cover letter example 1

University cover letter 1

University cover letter example 2

University cover letter 2

University cover letter example 3

University cover letter 3

These University cover letter examples provide you with some guidance and inspiration for writing a cover letter that gets noticed and ensures your CV will get opened.

But if you really want to master the art of writing a winning cover letter , then follow our step-by-step cove letter writing guide below.

How to write a University cover letter

A simple step-by-step guide to writing your very own winning cover letter.

How to write a cover letter

Write your cover letter in the body of an email/message

Type the content of your cover letter directly into the email you are sending, or if you are applying via a job board, directly into their messaging system.

The reason for doing this it to ensure that your cover letter gets seen instantly and you can start connecting with the recruiter as soon as they open your message.

If you attach your cover letter as a separate document, the recipient will have to open up the document, which will slow the process down, or make them less likely to even open your cover letter – which could mean your application gets skipped over.

Write cover letter in body of email

Start with a friendly greeting

Cover letter address

To start building rapport with the recruiter or hiring manager right away, lead with a friendly greeting.

Try to strike a balance between professional and personable.

Go with something like…

  • Hi [insert recruiter name]
  • Hi [insert department/team name]

Stay away from old-fashioned greetings like “Dear sir/madam ” unless applying to very formal companies – they can come across as cold and robotic.

How to find the contact’s name?

Addressing the recruitment contact by name is an excellent way to start building a strong relationship. If it is not listed in the job advert, try to uncover it via these methods.

  • Check out the company website and look at their  About page. If you see a hiring manager, HR person or internal recruiter, use their name. You could also try to figure out who would be your manager in the role and use their name.
  • Head to LinkedIn , search for the company and scan through the list of employees. Most professionals are on LinkedIn these days, so this is a good bet.

Identify the role you are applying for

Once you’ve opened up the cover letter with a warm greeting to start building a relationship, it is time to identify which role you want to apply for.

Recruiters are often managing multiple vacancies, so you need to ensure you apply to the correct one.

Be very specific and use a reference number if you can find one.

  • I am interested in applying for the position of *University position* with your company.
  • I would like to apply for the role of Sales assistant (Ref: 406f57393)
  • I would like to express my interest in the customer service vacancy within your retail department
  • I saw your advert for a junior project manager on Reed and would like to apply for the role.

See also: CV examples – how to write a CV – CV profiles

Highlight your suitability

The sole objective of your cover letter is to motivate recruiters into to opening your CV. And you achieve this by quickly explaining your suitability to the roles you are applying for.

Take a look at the job descriptions you are applying to, and make note of the most important skills and qualifications being asked for.

Then, when crafting your cover letter, make your suitability the central focus.

Explain why you are the best qualified candidate, and why you are so well suited to carry out the job.

This will give recruiters all the encouragement they need to open your CV and consider you for the job.

Cover letter tips

Keep it short and sharp

It is best to keep your cover letter brief if you want to ensure you hold the attention of busy recruiters and hiring managers. A lengthy cover letter will probably not get read in full, so keep yours to around 3-6 sentences and save the real detail for your CV.

Remember the purpose of your cover letter is to quickly get recruiters to notice you and encourage them to open your CV, so it only needs to include the highlights of your experience.

Sign off professionally

To finish off your cover note, add a professional signature to the bottom, stating your important contact details and information.

This not only provides recruiters with multiple means of contacting you, but it also adds a nice professional appearance to the cover letter, which shows that you know how to conduct yourself in the workplace.

Include the following points;

  • A friendly sign off – e.g. “Warm regards”
  • Your full name
  • Phone number (one you can answer quickly)
  • Email address
  • Profession title
  • Professional social network – e.g. LinkedIn

Here is an example signature;

Warm regards,

Aaron Smith Customer service professional 075557437373 [email protected] LinkedIn

Quick tip : To save yourself from having to write your signature every time you send a job application, you can save it within your email drafts, or on a separate document that you could copy in.

Email signatures

What to include in your University cover letter

Your University cover letter will be unique to your situation, but there are certain content guidelines you should stick to for best results.

To attract and entice recruiters, stick with the following key subjects in your cover letter – adapting them to fit your profession and target jobs.

  • Your professional experience – Employers will be keen to know if your experience is suitable for the job you are applying to, so provide a good summary of it in your cover letter.
  • Your qualifications and education – Highlight your most relevant and high-level of qualification, especially if they are essential to the job.
  • The positive impact you have made – Employers love to hear about the benefits you can bring to them, so shout about anything impressive you have done, such as saving money or improving processes.
  • Your reasons for leaving – Use a few words of your cover letter to explain why you are leaving your current job and ensure you avoid any negative reasons.
  • Your availability – Let recruiters know when you can start a new job . Are you immediately available, or do you have a month notice period?

University cover letter templates

Copy and paste these University cover letter templates to get a head start on your own.

I am excited to apply for the Lecturer position in the Politics Department at Sheffield University, bringing with me a wealth of experience and a passion for International Relations, Political Philosophy, and Critical Theory. With an MA and PhD from the University of Leeds and 6+ years of teaching experience, I possess the skills to design engaging lectures, mentor students, and conduct impactful research.

In my current role as Assistant Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, I have designed a popular course on the politics of identity and social movements, demonstrating my ability to innovate new and well-received modules. My research on the intersections of power, identity, and social movements was presented at the International Political Science Association Conference and published in the Journal of Politics. During my tenure as a Teaching Assistant, I introduced a seminar series on essay structure and technique, which received positive feedback and contributed to a significant 12% increase in exam scores. My dedication to fostering inclusive classrooms and research, as evidenced in my publications on intersectionality and politics of representation, aligns with the values of your department.

I am available for an interview at your earliest convenience to discuss how my qualifications and commitment to diversity and equity align with your department’s vision.

Best wishes,

I hope you’re well. With a varied 30-year academic career and specialist experience in 18th-century literature, literary theory, and critical race studies, I am thrilled to apply for the position of Professor of English Literature at UCL.

Through my PhD research and 12+ years of teaching experience at The University of Manchester, I have honed my ability to design and deliver engaging lectures and seminars while effectively mentoring students. My original research on race and gender in 18th-century literature has garnered recognition from Lit Today and LHB Journal, including a successful research project on the reception of African American literature in the UK. My monograph on the same subject received acclaim in Women’s Writing Journal. In my previous role as Senior Lecturer, I designed a highly requested course on the history of the novel which attracted 65% of students in its first year, showcasing my innovative approach to course development. Additionally, in 2021 I organised an international conference on race and literature that attracted scholars from 38 countries and engaged 800 undergraduate students.

I am available for an interview at your earliest convenience to discuss how my qualifications and dedication can contribute to the progressive academic excellence at UCL.

Kind regards,

Simone Rickard

Dear Martin,

I hope this email finds you well. With a 25+ year career at UCL, including a PhD in the history of women’s rights and the feminist movement, I am excited to apply for the esteemed position of Program Director, bringing with me a wealth of experience and dedication to advancing the field of Women’s History.

As the current Program Director of Women’s History at UCL, I successfully spearheaded the development of a new undergraduate program in Women’s History Studies, becoming the most popular history class in recent cohorts. I have also cultivated partnerships with external organisations, such as the British Library and the Tate, to create interpretive exhibits showcasing influential women throughout history. My dedication to fostering an inclusive learning environment is evident in my implementation of a 1-2-1 mentorship program for women interested in pursuing careers in history. My ability to design and deliver engaging curriculum materials, mentor students, and secure funding through grant proposals makes me the ideal candidate for this role.

I am available for an interview at your earliest convenience to discuss how my qualifications and commitment to advancing the study of Women’s History align with your institution’s mission.

Osei Johnson

Writing an impressive cover letter is a crucial step in landing a job working at a University, so taking the time to perfect it is well worth while.

By following the tips and examples above you will be able to create an eye-catching cover letter that will wow recruiters and ensure your CV gets read – leading to more job interviews for you.

Good luck with your job search!

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Sample Cover Letters

Look through these sample cover letters to get an idea of what to include in your letter.   Do not copy them directly!  

The most important quality you can convey in your cover letter is enthusiasm, and this must be done in your own style.

Read our tips for writing a great cover letter .  We suggest that you write the first draft of your letter without using a sample to guide you.  Once you’ve created your first letter, those that follow will be much easier. 

Undergraduate Internship

Layla D’Antonio New York, NY | [email protected] | (212) 555-0000

February 5, 2023

Dear Ms. Chan,

I am writing to express my interest in CNN’s editorial internship as part of the Columbia Experience Overseas Hong Kong. With a keen interest in media production and journalism, I am eager to explore these fields in one of the world’s fastest-growing markets. As a rising sophomore at Columbia University studying psychology with a concentration in sustainable development, I am excited to apply my cultural awareness and critical thinking skills, as well as my creativity and teamwork skills to this position.

For the past year, I have worked with the Columbia Video Network to record classes for the developing online sector of Columbia University School of Engineering. My colleagues and I produced content that students around the world can access for their online programs. Additionally, I played a vital role managing our social media presence via Facebook and Twitter, increasing the network’s online exposure by sharing photos from our production room, writing posts about advancements in technology, and sharing engineering-related content. Through this experience, I familiarized myself with media outlets and increased engagement with prospective students.

Currently, as Division I student-athlete, I continuously develop my perseverance, mental stamina and time management skills. I have learned to master the art of balancing a demanding schedule while navigating a fast-paced environment. My experience as an athlete has also helped me to become an effective leader and communicator, acting as a liaison between my teammates and coaching staff. All are skills I expect to use at CNN.

I am excited by the opportunity to contribute to one of the world’s leading news organizations while exploring my curiosity in the use of technology as a tool to transmit knowledge through visual media. I look forward to the opportunity to learn how CNN integrates these tools within the news landscape, and to grow as a journalist and creative thinker. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely, Layla D’Antonio

Creative Industry

Sara Danson New York, NY • +1 (202) 555-0188 • [email protected]

April 26, 2023

Dear Hiring Team,

Growing up with a political historian as my father, I learned a crucial lesson: to care about people, you have to care about politics. In this vein, I have long admired the Center for Democratic Progress, using your reports and articles to help define my own policy positions. As I prepare to graduate from Columbia University with a degree in American studies and creative writing in May, I want to work for an organization that lets me act on my care for people every day. With seven years of editorial experience, I think I could do great work as Democratic Progress’ Assistant Editor.

I first honed my editing skills as a journalist. Working for Elementary, I wrote and copy edited dozens of articles using AP Style – everything from long-form investigations of standardized testing to columns about Common Core. I posted and formatted articles and photos on Elementary’s WordPress site, and managed production of the magazine’s quarterly print issues. For this work, I wrote headlines, blurbs, and photo captions as needed, and used Adobe Photoshop and InDesign regularly. I have done similar work as a writer for the Daily Noise, a workshop participant at Columbia, and the sole editor of The Soul in Our Soles, a full-length book. Through these experiences, I have edited hundreds of pages, adjusted to new style guides and expectations, and learned how to give my feedback clearly and diplomatically. So, too, have I honed my attention to detail and accuracy, learned how to work independently and under time pressure, and kept track of small-moving parts across several projects at once.

In other jobs, I have channeled my political views into meaningful work. As an intern for the League Against Hate Speech and Detroit for All, a nonprofit which helps immigrants and refugees in Southeast Michigan, I worked with teams to advocate progressive policy positions by planning trips, conferences, and community-wide events. As part of this work, I communicated with a wide range of individuals – wealthy businessmen, Bhutanese refugees, and Israeli activists alike – and sharpened my written and verbal communications skills. I also gave my colleagues operational support, copying and filing papers, scheduling meetings, and inputting data into Salesforce, among other tasks. These experiences taught me when to ask for help, how to solve problems, and how to organize my work and others’ well. At the same time, I learned firsthand how satisfying it is to work hard for a cause you believe in.

Given the opportunity, I would love to do that work for Democratic Progress as your Assistant Editor. I would be able to relocate to Washington, D.C. quickly upon hiring. Thank you so much for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely, Sara Danson


Devon Fisher 917-555-0000 | [email protected] | New York, NY

March 11, 2023

Vince Winchester Thornton Tomasetti 51 Madison Ave #19 New York, NY 10010

Dear Mr. Winchester,

I am writing to express my interest in the Energy Analyst internship at Thornton Tomasetti. After connecting with Recruitment manager Charlotte Greene at Columbia University’s Sustainability Career Fair, and learning about the company’s impact in the sustainable engineering space, I knew I needed to apply. I am a senior at Columbia majoring in Mechanical Engineering and believe that my critical thinking and interpersonal skills along with my commitment to engaging in complex engineering problems would be an asset to your team.

During my internship with ERS, I successfully employed my critical thinking skills and interpersonal skills to pinpoint cost-effective retrofit measures on a very limited budget and with little manpower. While working on heat load models, I realized that improving the insulation of a building could result in greater savings than the team’s HVAC focus. With approval from my boss, I was able to take initiative to create a new framework for implementing insulation and envelope repairs. Using this idea, the team discovered that one of the school sites could save over $30,000 a year on electricity through insulation upgrades.

Currently, I am leading a project for the Columbia Formula SAE team researching and analyzing sensors with a goal to wire a car to increase speed and validate load predictions. This project is particularly relevant to the current trends in the energy efficiency space, as sensors exist in buildings and retrofit projects need to be validated. My current coursework complements my experience in its focus on statistical programming for modeling environmental issues. For example, I am working on a project using machine learning to predict roofs in New York City that need insulation.

I am excited by the opportunity to be on a team that collaborates to help clients meet their engineering and sustainability goals, and where I can showcase my mechanical engineering skills. Thank you for considering me to join the Thornton Tomasetti team.

Sincerely, Devon Fisher


AMY M. ROBINS 212-555-1212 • [email protected] 

August 22, 2022

Dear Ms. Kramer,

I am writing to apply to your grant writer position. When I saw this posting on your website, I was immediately drawn to AIDG’s focus on business incubation and eco-friendly technologies, and believe your model offers many opportunities to create lasting improvements to infrastructures in Guatemala and Haiti. To help your company gain further funding for its mission, I offer proven writing, research, and communication skills as well as successful grant writing experience.

I was inspired to transition from magazine writing to grant writing when I started editing documents for the Refugee and Immigrant Fund (RIF), a not-for-profit agency that aids new immigrants as they adjust to life in the United States. Working with RIF’s founder to create two grant applications, I found my editorial background equipped me well for the challenges of drafting and editing proposals to secure not-for-profit funding. Both applications were successful and resulted in grants needed to support two new programs.

Additionally, as the Assistant Research Editor at Budget Travel magazine, I pinpoint the most engaging details of a subject and write stories that appeal to a targeted audience. These skills have helped me create grant applications that draw attention from an audience of grant givers and personal donors.

Finally, every day at Budget Travel, I communicate effectively across language barriers. Maintaining my record of zero printed errors, I routinely call and email small foreign businesses, from family-owned restaurants in Panama to three-room B&Bs in Italy. My French language proficiency, further refined when I studied in Senegal, will help me work closely with your staff in Haiti. Moreover, I am currently enrolled in introductory Spanish lessons and plan to continue classes in Guatemala.

I would be honored to join AIDG and help promote sustainable technologies, XelaTeco, and other business incubation plans. I look forward to discussing how I can help your organization grow and expand through fundraising. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely, Amy Robins

Using Bullet Points

Elizabeth Lee (212) 555-0649 || [email protected] || New York, NY

September 5, 2022

Bain & Company 415 Mission Street, Suite 4800 San Francisco, California 94105

Dear Ms. Victoria Andres,

I am writing to apply for the Associate Consultant position at Bain & Company’s San Francisco and New York offices. I am currently a senior at Columbia University pursuing a major in Philosophy with a minor in Economics. Throughout the past year, I have had the pleasure of talking to ACs in the San Francisco, Chicago, and Shanghai offices about their experiences at Bain. Most recently, I spoke with Cheryl Bloom, an AC at the SF Office and my ACI interview buddy last year. She emphasized the great learning environment and active mentorships available at Bain, which I find very exciting!

This past summer, I worked at Kaiser Associates , a Washington D.C.-based international strategy and management consulting firm serving Fortune 500 companies. I believe my consulting experiences, leadership successes, and academic achievement will make me a valuable asset to Bain.

As an Associate Consultant, I will contribute the following skills:

Analytical problem-solving. At Kaiser Associates, I analyzed prices of construction machine warranties for a Fortune 100 industrial equipment manufacturer in order to increase its warranty sales through price adjustments. Using regressions in Excel, I evaluated the impact of different types of coverages on warranty prices at competing manufacturers. As a result, I was able to provide quantitative data to help the project team develop final recommendations, which were well-received by our client at the end of the project.

Strong interpersonal and client-facing skills. At Asia Society last summer, I presented a sponsorship proposal to senior managers of All Nippon Airways (ANA) and the Peninsula Hotel regarding an upcoming Japanese cultural banquet. By thoroughly researching the two companies’ preferences to devise sponsorship tiers and benefits, I successfully convinced both to sponsor the event by offering 75% discounted air tickets and accommodation, saving Asia Society $6,000 in the budget.

Leadership and influence. As one of three recipients of the Symposium Fellowship (a Columbia-sponsored liberal arts teaching fellowship), I designed and taught a 10-day seminar on Dostoevsky and Rousseau in Beijing, China. With 15 high school and college students, whose areas of study ranged from engineering to fine arts, I facilitated in-depth discussions about philosophical texts as well as contemporary social issues and engaged every student in seminar-style learning regardless of their English language skills and points of view. Based on feedback from a course evaluation survey designed by myself, all 15 students were beyond satisfied with the seminar and began to take an interest in philosophy.

With my strong academic achievements and multicultural, multilingual background, I am confident that I would be a great addition to Bain and make tangible contributions to the team. I look forward to discussing my candidacy for this position at your convenience. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely, Elizabeth Lee

Create Your Own Internship

Even if a company or organization does not have an internship program or has never had an intern, it may be possible to convince them to create an internship for you. 

Here are some tips to get started on your “create your own internship” cover letter:

In your cover letter, acknowledge that while there is no internship program in their company or organization, you are proposing that they create an internship for you based on the skills you offer and the value you could add in return for real work experience and training.

Explain the type of work that you would like to do. Remember to be realistic about what type of work an intern typically does in this field. It may be helpful to research internship postings at similar organizations for reference.

Demonstrate your knowledge about and interest in the company. Be enthusiastic and convincing as to why you want to work for them.

Use social media or the company’s “About Us” web pages to identify an actual person in the department that interests you and direct your cover letter and resume to that person.

Follow up in a few days with another email or a phone call. 

Cover Letter with Comments

Cover Letter with Comments


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Harvard College Resumes & Cover Letter Guide

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A resume is a concise, informative summary of your abilities, education, and experience. It should highlight your strongest assets and skills, and differentiate you from other candidates seeking similar positions.

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Cover Letters

An effective cover letter makes a personal, memorable introduction while detailing your interest, qualification, and compatibility for the job. Rather than reiterating your resume, a cover letter brings your resume to life through stories and examples.

A successful cover letter describes your qualifications (e.g. education, experiences) most relevant to the employer based upon the job description and your knowledge of the company. Ideally, you should write a new cover letter for every job application, since the content should be specific to the needs of the job and company you're applying to.

  • Cover Letter Outline and Sample pdf
  • Targeting a Cover Letter Sample pdf

Cover Letter Outline and Sample Page 1

Do I need to include a cover letter?

Often, a cover letter is a required part of an application process.  However, even when it is optional, it is advantageous to include one. Writing a cover letter demonstrates that you are interested enough to invest extra time drafting a thoughtful letter.

What are some common cover letter mistakes to avoid?

Using a generic cover letter. Employers can usually tell when you've used the same cover letter for multiple jobs. It makes a bad first impression because it appears that you aren't interested in that specific job or don't understand what unique skills are important. Be sure to write a tailored cover letter for each position that makes strong connections between your experiences and interest in the company and their needs, challenges and/or mission.  

Failing to provide examples. Many cover letters make empty claims, asserting that the applicant is a "good communicator" or "detail-oriented." Unfortunately, employers say that these claims usually are not believed and have become common clichés. To make your claims more powerful, add an example or proof to each skill you mention. For example, you might write, "I am very detail-oriented, a skill that I honed while completing detailed inventory sheets working in a grocery store".

Restating the resume. Often, cover letters will fall into the trap of reiterating the facts of the resume — "I worked at Company X for 2 years where I was a cashier. Then, I worked at Company Y in 2018." Instead of repeating the resume, a good cover letter should draw connections between your skills and experiences, and how these connect to the company's needs. For example, a cover letter statement could be "As a shift manager at Jimmy John's, I enjoyed training and coaching new employees to be successful within the team, a skill that I know would be helpful working as a team leader within your organization."

*For example cover letters, see our sample documents above

Cover letter vs. letter of qualification — what's the difference?

  • Cover letters are typically one page and briefly elaborate qualifications, interest and fit for the job.
  • A letter of qualification is similar to a cover letter but addresses every qualification in the job description. It is often longer than one page. Download letter of qualification example (PDF) .

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Cover Letters

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Cover letters are tailored

Cover Letters are unique to each position you are applying for and should clearly articulate the value you add to the targeted job within a one page format.

Cover Letters are deep

While your resume serves as a broad overview of your qualifications, your cover letter is a chance to go deep into 2-3 specific selling points with stories that serve as evidence to back up your claims.

Cover Letters serve as sample writing

They allow you to demonstrate your persuasive and concise communication skills.

1. Write a Cover Letter

Mohr Career Services offers a variety of resources, including the following written resources as well as the video resources embedded at the bottom of this page.

2. Get Feedback

You can get feedback on your resume in the following ways:

  • Schedule an appointment with a career advisor
  • Visit drop in advising (schedule at the bottom of the page)
  • Submit your cover letter for online review

Video Resources

Cover Letters

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The purpose of a cover letter, when required by an employer, is to introduce yourself and compel an employer to learn more about you through your resume. Capture an employer's attention by following the actions below.


The statement "To Whom it May Concern" is concerning! Always try to address your letter to a specific person. If you do not know who should receive your letter, research the organization's website or call the main number and ask for the appropriate person's name and title.

In addition to determining the recipient's name and title, research the organization so that you can convey an appreciation for its mission and an understanding of the duties and qualifications of the position for which you are applying.

Articulate how your skills and experiences uniquely qualify you for the position and demonstrate why you are a good fit for the organization. Be clear and concise and limit your cover letter to one page. Additionally, maintain a confident, professional tone while providing insight into your personality so that your letter leaves an employer with a sense of wanting to learn more about you.

A poorly written or error-laden letter is a surefire way to end your candidacy. If you want an employer to spend additional time reviewing your resume, you must make time to proofread your letter and ensure that your grammar and spelling are perfect.

Cover Letter Format

Your street address City, state, zip code

Date Recipient's first and last name Title Organization name Street address City, state, zip code

Dear first and last name (address to someone specific or Dear Hiring Manager):

Paragraph 1: State what you are applying for and why you are applying to XYZ organization or position. Introduce yourself by saying something about yourself (i.e., I am a senior studying communications at American University). Note how/where you learned about the position. If you are writing at the suggestion of someone who knows the recipient, say so. Introduce 3-5 skills or strengths that you offer to the position/organization that you will give an example of in the following paragraphs.

Paragraph 2: Share your first story to demonstrate your skill or skills. Have a succinct beginning, middle, and end to the story. Follow the CAR method -- Context, Action, Result to tell a full story.

Paragraph 3: Share your second story following the CAR method.

Paragraph 4: Summarize what you bring to the organization and include any logistical information (when you are available, how they can contact you). Thank them for their consideration.

Sincerely, Your name

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Resume, Cover Letter, and References Guide

Professional documents such as a resume or cover letter are how employers understand your skills, abilities, experiences, and strengths. These documents express your qualifications and interest in the position you are seeking and can potentially lead to an interviewing opportunity.

The Career Center is available to help you learn how to construct a resume and cover letter and offer advice for making improvements and updates.

Resume Writing

The suggestions that follow are based on several years of experience with the recruiting process and employer feedback.  Most rules for a good resume are not set in stone, but strong guidelines. There is no one “right” way to write a resume.  Employers have different opinions on what they prefer; therefore, it is important for your resume to best highlight your skills and interests.

Expand all   |   Collapse all  

Overall Appearance 

Formatting .

Resumes tend to be very conservative in format with the primary goal being readability.

In some fields, such as advertising, marketing, and fine arts, creativity is more acceptable and often expected.

Creativity should not deter from the overall content and flow of a resume.

We suggest that you never use templates provided by Word or any other source. Templates limit formatting choices and the amount of content on your resume. In addition, many employers ignore resumes when they have seen the same template multiple times.

Tabs and Bullets

Bulleted action statements are not complete sentences, so periods are not needed. If you do choose to use them, however, be consistent and use them throughout the document.

When creating bullet points, use the bulleting functions in Word rather than a bullet point symbol and spaces.


If possible, one-page resume for undergraduates and recent grads is recommended.

Margins should be between .5 and 1 inch (often this makes the difference between a one and two-page resumes)

One font and one color should be used throughout the document.

Font size between 10-12 point (font size will vary depending on the font you choose, the same applies to the size of your margins).

Differentiate section headers, selectively use different types of highlighting text.

Serif fonts are easier to read than sans-serif fonts. Google those font styles if you are not familiar with these font styles. Times New Roman has been popular, but doesn’t allow the letters to blend together in some cases. 

Popular fonts:

  • Times New Roman
  • Georgia 
  • Bookman Old Style

Grammar, spelling, typos 

No grammatical or spelling errors

No personal pronouns should be used (I, me, my etc.)

Unless necessary, avoid definite and indefinite articles such as, a, an, the, in descriptions

All information is delivered in bulleted action-word statements 

Elements of a Resume 

Contact information.

Your name as you want to be referred to professionally (Jon Baker, Jonathan Baker, Jon E. Baker) and formatted to stand out appropriately using larger font, bold, etc.

Current address and home/permanent address (if looking for employment in that area)

Phone number with area code, cell phone is best. Voicemail should be set up so that your name is stated to indicate to employers that they have the right phone number.

Email address (professional addresses only)

LinkedIn profile link if your account is up-to-date (optional)

Resume Contact Info Example

First Name Last Name, PhD

1324 W. Wisconsin Ave | Milwaukee, WI 53233 [email protected] | (414) 288-7423 

Objective or summary of qualifications

Objective .

A clear objective helps focus on select information. Although you may wish to make your objective broad, do not make it so broad that it says nothing. If you are pursuing employment in more than one field, simply create different objectives for each field and job application.  There should only be one objective per resume. Also, remember to omit personal pronouns like I, me, and my.

Your career objective should answer the question, “What do I want to do?” Is it for graduate school, a part-time job, an internship, a professional position after graduation, a scholarship? Make sure your objective is clear.

Seeking a summer internship in a communications related field to utilize skills in organization, public speaking, and media communication.

Summary of Qualifications

Another option, instead of having an objective, is to have a “summary of qualifications”.

A Summary of Qualifications should summarize your resume and accomplishments much like an introduction might summarize a book. You could also think of this as a "tagline" for yourself and the rest of the resume will have the supporting information for your "advertisement". You can use this space to match your accomplishments to the qualifications of the job to which you are applying.

These should be written in the third person, not using "I" or "me" throughout, and should provide the top items that set you apart as a candidate. Think of the top three or four things that highlight you as a candidate and differentiate you from the other candidates in the pool.

If you speak other languages, you could highlight it here. Additionally, if you are from abroad, your work-authorization status may be mentioned in order to reduce confusion with prospective employers.

Personable and motivated entry-level marketing professional with experience in both non-profit and for-profit environments. Skilled in marketing plan design and implementation. Efficient presentation and communication skills acquired through student leadership positions. 

  • Two years of internship experience within a Fortune-500 company
  • Proven leadership experience with a student organization
  • Fluency in Spanish 


For each degree-conferring institution beyond high school:

  • Name of educational institution or specialized training program
  • Location (city, state) of each institution
  • Degree or certification obtained
  • Major/minor/area of concentration or emphasis
  • Actual or anticipated graduated date (month and year)

Additional/Optional items to include:

  • GPA/Major GPA (if proud of it, usually > 3.0) Include all decimal points with the scale. If you include Major GPA then you should also include your cumulative GPA.
  • Certifications and/or licenses related to career goal
  • Relevant coursework, projects, and/or thesis

Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, May 20xx

GPA: 3.207/4.0

High School Information

If you are a first year or sophomore student, having high school information is acceptable on your resume. Once you have enough experiences during your college years, we recommend all high school information be removed.

Transfer Students 

Do not list schools from which you did not receive a degree.

This part of your resume may include several sections such as:

Career Related, Related (or) Relevant Experience, Work Experience, Additional Work Experience, Internship Experience, Volunteer Experience, Campus Involvement, Service, Leadership, Activities

Career Related or Related or Relevant Experience : really any area in which you may have significant experience and is related to your career goal, even remotely.

Additional Work Experience : use this to list jobs you have had to show consistency, longevity, or just simply that you know how to work. Sometimes this section does not include bulleted action word statements because what you are doing may be obvious such as Bartender.

Briefly describe for each position:

  • Job title, organization name, city, state, date (month and year)
  • List your responsibilities for each position using bulleted action statements to describe situations and achievements (see Writing Bulleted Action Statements )

Office and Employer Relations Assistant MU Career Center Milwaukee, WI August 20xx- May 20xx

  • Greeted and assisted all clients, students and visitors of the Career Center
  • Provided administrative support to all functions of the Career Center

List your most recent experiences first, and your oldest experiences last. If your most career-related experience was a year ago or more and is listed towards the bottom of your resume create a new section to highlight that experience. The section can be titled many things such as career-related experience, related experience, relevant experience or any title which groups your most significant experiences related to the position together.

Optional Elements 

Coursework .

Courses you took related to the position you are applying for can be included on your resume. List the title of the course (course numbers are not necessary). Include the semester and year taken.

Computer Literacy in Business (Spring 20xx), Media Writing (Spring 20xx), Public Relations Principles (Fall 20xx), Media Law (Fall 20xx), Ethical Problems of Mass Communications (Fall 20xx)

Class projects

If you have little experience related to your career objective, think about class projects that demonstrate your skills.  List these just like a position with the name of the project, name of the class, Marquette University, and semester (Fall 20XX).  Then list the objectives, tasks and accomplishments of the project just like you would list bulleted action statements under each position.

General Psychology Course, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI

“Be Well Marquette” Class Project, Spring 20xx

  • Collaborated with student project team to identify and implement one wellness initiative to offer to incoming freshman students
  • Coordinated event planning and marketing for event with attendance of over 100 students

Honors, activities, leadership, or special skills 

Front load these with those most important or most pertinent to your objective (career goal).  You may want to use specific headings such as professional organizations, computer skills, and leadership positions. Include any honors, scholarships or recognition awards you have received. If you were actively involved in any clubs, teams or committees while in college, those may be included also. If you want to include more details about these activities, use the guidelines from the Experience section and make it a complete section.


The trend is to keep away from any extraneous information that does not clearly connect to your career goal. However, if you are applying for a position in which you have experience through a hobby or leisure activity, you may want to consider adding it to your resume.

For example, if you are applying for a forest ranger position and you enjoy hiking in the wilderness, include it by stating: Skilled in all-terrain hiking, camping and navigating. What you need to ask yourself is, “Will this information help the potential employer learn more about how well I can do the job?” If your answer is yes, then be sure to include the information.

Technology/ computer / language skills 

More employers are asking about these skills, and many assume college students today are very tech-savvy. Many of you do not have industry-specific tech skills, but if you do, then those need to be highlighted. It may be that you do not have space for a separate "technology" section, in which case a "Computer skills include ..." line could be added to your profile, or you could address the skills in the description of the job in which you used them. You do not need to list Microsoft Office programs or other commonly used applications. You should include your level of proficiency for each skill, such as Advanced or Intermediate.

Writing Bulleted Action Statements 

What are bulleted action statements.

Bulleted action statements are concise phrases describing your skills, accomplishments, or attributes related to your work experiences. These phrases begin with action words . The bullet point in front of these concise statements serve as visual landmarks to aid the reader in navigating the document quickly. 

Steps to Write a Bulleted Action Statement: 

Choose an  action word Action words are written in present tense for current experiences and past tense for experiences which have ended Example: “Established" 

Identify and describe skills, attributes, duties and/or accomplishments  from your experiences 

 Be specific, concise, and quantify if possible (to help you be specific, consider the following questions: how many, how often, what type, where, with/for who, how much)

  • Put it all together Example: Established professional relationships with over 20 customers monthly through friendly and efficient written communication resulting in a 20% increase of sales from 20xx to 20xx

Action Statement Writing Tips: 

  • Statements should not be paragraphs. They should be to the point including information specifically related to the role of application.
  • Quantifying your work helps you to be specific. The reader should be able to picture what you were doing by reading the statements.
  • Review the transferable skills necessary for the position. These may be listed in the job description or  need to determine them on your own.
  • Statements should be focused on your accomplishments and responsibilities not only on duties. The statements should relate to what you did specifically.  They should not describe what any person would do in the role.

Action Words 

Transferrable skills , planning and organizational skills.

  • Meet deadlines and manage time effectively
  • Work under time and environmental pressures
  • Successfully juggle multiple demands (school and work)
  • Identify and prioritize things to be accomplished
  • Assess needs
  • Develop goals for self and/or an organization
  • Work effectively with organization members
  • Follow up with other to evaluate progress of tasks
  • Stick to a different endeavor and see it through to completion (4 years of college)

Critical Thinking Skills

  • Quickly and accurately identify the key issues when making a decision or solving a problem
  • Identify general principles that explain data or human behavior
  • Examine assumptions underlying analyses or conclusions
  • Recognize interrelationships in information obtained from diverse sources
  • User facts to judge validity of theories
  • Create innovative solutions to complex problems
  • Critically evaluate theories and research and apply the results to solve problems

Human Resources and Interpersonal Skills

  • Maintain group cooperation and support
  • Keep a group on track when working towards a goal
  • Interact and work effectively with peers, superiors and subordinates
  • Interact with and appreciate people from diverse cultural, social, ethnic and religious backgrounds
  • Communicate effectively and sensitively in both individual and group situations
  • Teach a skill, concept or principle to others
  • Demonstrate effective social behavior in a variety of settings and circumstances
  • Effectively collaborate with other n complete projects or reach goals
  • Delegate tasks and responsibilities
  • Ability to work on a team on diverse assignments

Oral and Written Communication Skills

  • Organize and present ideas effectively for formal and spontaneous speeches
  • Effectively participate in group discussions and brainstorm ideas
  • Debate issues while respecting the opinions of others
  • Read and condense large amounts of material
  • Write reports clearly, grammatically, concisely, objectively, convincingly and in appropriate format
  • Write and speak effectively in a foreign language
  • Delivered verbal presentations clearly and persuasively
  • Express and defend ideas in a clear, objective, non-dogmatic manner
  • Effectively utilize campus resources for public relations
  • Use various media to present ideas effectively and/or imaginatively
  • Possess courteous telephone skills

Research and Investigation Skills

  • Use a variety of sources of information to research problems or answers to questions
  • Conduct literature searches on ________________________
  • Develop a new research question(s)
  • Apply a variety of research methods to test the validity of data
  • Design and experiment, plan or model that systematically defines a problem
  • Construct, administer and interpret questionnaires or surveys
  • Ethically recruit and treat research subjects
  • Select appropriate statistical tests for the analysis of research
  • Analyze and interpret statistical data.
  • Interpret qualitative and quantitative data
  • Use computers or laboratory equipment to assist with research
  • Select, administer, score, and interpret various psychological tests or assessments
  • Deal effectively with financial, temporal, and personnel constraints on research

Computer Skills

  • Use computer software to prepare reports, graphs, brochures, etc. and to conduct research
  • Internet research and e-mail skills
  • Computer programming skills
  • Webpage and website design skills

Personal Skills

  • Define and explain ethical behavior and practice it in difficult situations
  • Take initiative in job related duties
  • Tolerance for stress and ambiguity
  • Demonstrate flexibility and ability to handle change
  • Recognize the value of lifelong learning and seeks professional development opportunities
  • Identify personal values and apply them when making decisions
  • Ability & motivation to develop knowledge and skills in expanding job responsibilities

Creative Skills

  • Create images for marketing campaign
  • Produce artwork for gallery display
  • Use intuition to develop a new idea
  • Invent an original product useful to the public
  • Mentally synthesize information gathered from research literature
  • Design visual media to easily convey message

Leadership/Management Skills

  • Align team members around organizational values
  • Persuade others based on personal or logical information
  • Motivate team members during busy or stressful times of work
  • Work to understand the needs and wishes of others to benefit the organizational goals


Header section, objective section.

Obtain a Resident Assistant position at Marquette University

Education Section 


Marquette University  - Milwaukee, WI                                                        May 20xx Bachelor of Arts                                                                                     GPA: 3.87/4.00 Major: Undecided

             Awards and Scholarships: Dean’s List (Fall 20xx), Marquette Ignatius/ Magis Scholarship

Relevant Experience Section 


Resident Hall Association, Marquette University - Milwaukee, WI        Sep. 20xx– Present Abbotsford Floor 3 East Representative

  • Take initiative to inquire about floor residents’ needs and concerns to improve dorm experience
  • Build rapport with residents and Abbotsford staff through positive attitude and enthusiasm
  • Collaborate with group to build open, safe environment of all residents
  • Organize monthly hall events with team of 10 people to help establish sense of community

Work Experience Section


Brew Café, Marquette University - Milwaukee, WI                               Sep. 20xx– Present  Barista and Cashier

  • Develop exceptional communication skills while interacting with diverse students, faculty, and community members
  • Demonstrate responsibility and reliability through never missing a shift and arriving to work early
  • Multitask and work efficiently while dealing with multiple orders

Rhee Household  - Oak Creek, WI                                                      Jan. 20xx –Aug. 20xx  Babysitter

  • Exhibited excellent work ethic by following all instructions regarding care of 2 children
  • Combined skills of patience and creativity to create fun, engaging activities 

Involvement Section 


Midnight Run, Marquette University -  Milwaukee, WI                           Sep. 20xx– Present Volunteer

  • Integrate sense of service and compassion through dedicating time to assist hungry Milwaukee community members

Big Brothers and Big Sisters , Marquette University -  Milwaukee, WI  Sep. 20xx– Present  Big Brother

  • Mentor 10-year-old Milwaukee child and act as positive role model


First Name Last Name

1324 W. Wisconsin Avenue | Milwaukee, WI 53233 | 414-288-7423 | [email protected] 

Entry level corporate communications role with a focus on writing, editing and social media 

Education Section

Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI Bachelor of Arts in Writing Intensive English , Expected May 20xx Minor in Corporate Communication Cumulative GPA: 3.525/4.0      Major GPA: 3.746/4.0        Ignatius Scholarship for Academic Excellence

Santa Clara University - Casa de la Solidaridad, San Salvador, El Salvador , Summer 20xx 

  • Developed conversational Spanish language skills

Related Experience Section 


Assurant Health, Milwaukee, WI Human Resources/Communications Intern , Jan. 20xx – Present

  • Write and proofread news stories and product briefs for internal corporate communication
  • Help plan and execute community and employee engagement events for up to 100 attendees
  • Support human resources development programs and new employee orientation
  • Assist with video production and editing using Adobe Premiere Pro CC 

Ott Writing Center – Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI Peer Tutor , Jan. 20xx – Dec. 20xx

  • Created and published content to promote Ott Writing Center on Twitter and Facebook
  • Partnered with undergraduate students to edit and improve written documents
  • Spoke to classrooms on campus to promote services to fellow students

Office of Advancement – Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI Phonathon Student Fundraiser , Aug. 20xx – Dec. 20xx 

  • Built rapport with alumni in order to raise over $6,000 for academic and athletic scholarships

Leadership Experience Section


Orientation Staff – Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI Team Leader , March 20xx – Aug. 20xx 

  • Initiated and developed open communication with students and family members about Marquette
  • Facilitated small group discussions regarding college life with 12 first-year Marquette students 

Activities Section

Sigma Tau Delta, Member (English Honor Society), Aug. 20xx – Present

Public Relations Student Society of America, Member, Aug. 20xx – Present

Marquette Tribune, News Reporter, Jan. 20xx – May 20xx 

Volunteer Experience Section


Community Day of Service, Volunteer, Annually 20xx  – Present 


Header section .

1324 W. Wisconsin Ave. | Milwaukee, WI 53233 | 414-288-7423 | [email protected] 

Summary of Qualifications Section 


  • Ability to juggle multiple demands in stressful atmosphere
  • Passion for learning and growing in dynamic healthcare environment
  • Experience with diverse populations and cultures
  • Proficient in use of EPIC Medical Records

Related Experience Section 

SAINT JOHN’S ON THE LAKE NURSING HOME, Milwaukee, WI    September 20xx-Present

Certified Nursing Assistant

  • Provide behavioral and emotional support, companionship and supervision for residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s
  • Assist patients with activities of daily living while closely following proper infection control procedures
  • Deliver feeding and mobility assistance to patients

LUKE’S HOSPITAL, Milwaukee, WI                                                   Summer 20xx

Cardiac Telemetry Unit Nurse Intern

  • Planned and provided nursing care to patients under the supervision of a registered nurse
  • Conducted medical screenings and offered health recommendations to patients
  • Obtained and recorded patient’s vital signs, intake and output and blood glucose

MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY, Milwaukee, WI                                        May 20xx  

Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing                                    GPA: 3.435/4.0  Minor: Women and Gender Studies

Clinical Experience Section


Childbearing Family Nursing ST. JOSEPH’S HOSPITAL                                                               April 20xx

Nursing of Communities                         CITY OF MILWAUKEE HEALTH DEPARTMENT                            March 20xx

Nursing Care of Adults   ST. LUKE’S MEDICAL CENTER                                                     February 20xx

Family Centered Nursing of Children     CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OF WISCONSIN                                     October 20xx

Nursing Care of Acutely Ill Adults   FROEDTERT HOSPITAL                                                                 September 20xx

  • Collaborated as member of a health care team to plan and provide quality care for patients
  • Worked in a critical care unit with respirators, IVs and sterile environment
  • Conducted head to toe assessments of patients
  • Assessed and monitored patient status and provided personal care
  • Evaluated patient knowledge and provided education as needed
  • Interacted with patients and families to promote supportive environment

Additional Experience 

Desk Receptionist MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY MCCORMICK HALL, Milwaukee, WI      Spring 20xx-Present

Receptionist GUNDERSON MEDICAL CLINIC, Madison, WI                                    Summer 20xx

Professional Affiliations and Additional Skills 

MU National Student Nurse Association, Treasurer  Wisconsin Nurses Association, Member Sigma Theta Tau (Nursing Honor Society), Member  CPR/AED Certified through American Heart Association 


Objective section .

Seeking admission into a Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences

Strengths Section 

  • Proficient in written and verbal Spanish
  • Hands-on healthcare experience working as a Medical Scribe
  • Ability to work efficiently both independently and in a team

MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY, Milwaukee, WI                                           May 20xx  Bachelor of Science Degree in Biomedical Sciences

Awards and Scholarships: Dean's List (Spring 20xx, Fall 20xx) Biomedical Sciences Department Scholarship  Marquette Ignatius/Magis Scholarship  Hoyt Scholarship 

Relevant Experience Section  


PHYSASSIST SCRIBES INC, Milwaukee, WI                      October 20xx-Present  Medical Scribe

  • Assist Physicians and Physician Assistants in emergency room to maintain efficient workflow
  • Record patient history, chief complaints and diagnostic test result
  • Order x-rays and prepare plans for follow-up care using EPIC electronic medical record systems

AURORA MEDICAL CENTER,  Milwaukee, WI                      August 20xx-Present  Volunteer

  • Utilize personal communication skills while interacting with patients and families to promote a supportive environment
  • Transport patients, respond to visitor inquiries and distribute deliveries to hospital rooms
  • Assist and manage cleaning and organization of several waiting rooms

MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY,  Milwaukee, WI                                           Fall 20xx Research Assistant

  • Developed test to quantify biofilm formation of urinary tract infection-causing E. coli
  • Compiled and analyzed databases of biofilm research
  • Designed and presented academic and experimental results to audiences of 40-50 people  

Activities Section 

KAPPA DELTA SORORITY, Marquette University Vice President of Philanthropy                                          Spring 20xx-Present

  • Lead and organize philanthropic events to raise money for Prevent Child Abuse America

SPECIAL OLYMPICS WISCONSIN,  Milwaukee, WI Volunteer                                                                              Spring 20xx-Present 

  • Coach and mentor 10-20 Special Olympics athletes in basketball and track and field  


1324 W. Wisconsin Ave - Milwaukee, WI 53233 - 414.288.7423 - [email protected] 


Seeking a summer internship in a communications related field to utilize and develop personal skills in organization, public speaking and media communication

EDUCATION  MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY, Milwaukee WI  Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies                          May 20xx Minor:  Business Administration

Relevant Coursework : Computer Literacy in Business (Spring 20xx), Media Writing (Spring 20xx), Public Relations Principles (Fall 20xx), Media Law (Fall 20xx), Ethical Problems of Mass Communications (Fall 20xx), Writing for the Marketplace (Spring 20xx) 

M MAGAZINE, Milwaukee, WI Advertising and Design Intern                                                           Spring 20xx

  • Collaborated with graphic artists to create effective web advertisements
  • Assisted in publication of the “Best Doctors 2015” list for local Milwaukee doctors
  • Participated in design development sessions with clients

MARQUETTE WIRE, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI Production Associate                                                                            Fall 20xx

  • Performed variety of technical and support services through printing and product operations
  • Inspected printing equipment and wrote monthly reports on inventory
  • Produced high quality posters, prints and banners

ASSURANT HEALTH, Milwaukee, WI Communications Intern                                                                  Summer 20xx

  • Wrote and proofread news stories and product briefs for internal corporate communication
  • Published content to promote Assurant Health on social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) 

ABBOTSFORD HALL COUNCIL, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI Floor Representative                                                          Fall 20xx-Spring 20xx

  • Attended weekly meetings to discuss residence hall’s climate and environment and sought out opportunities for improvement

Computer Skills Section  


Advanced knowledge of Adobe Illustrator Proficient in Adobe Photoshop and InDesign


  • Customer Service: Six years of experience in tactfully handling customer concerns
  • Quick thinker and detail-oriented
  • Analytical: Solid analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Research and investigation skills: Able to make effective use of all available resources

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology , Minor in French                                   May 20xx Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI                                                  GPA 3.632/4.0

Universite Catholiqué De Lyon, France                                  September-June 20xx

  • Utilized fluent written and verbal French while living in a family setting
  • Learned to see the world from a different cultural perspective  

Relevant Coursework Section


Organizational Behavior (Spring 20xx) , Industrial Psychology (Fall 20xx), Social Psychology (Fall 20xx) 

Management Experience Section 


Student Manager Sodexho—Marriott Food Services, Milwaukee, WI               September 20xx-Present

  • Serve customers and supervise five to ten students in each shift, giving feedback regularly
  • Hire and train new student employees
  • Develop new training procedures that were adopted by the corporate training facility  

President Cobeen Hall Council, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI  September 20xx-May20xx

  • Enhanced leadership skills to maintain group cooperation and support
  • Planned, organized and delegated tasks related to fundraising and special events in Cobeen Hall
  • Honed critical thinking skills to accurately identify key issues when making decisions related to council business 

Additional Experience Section 


Sales Associate Leader New York, Inc., Rochester, NY                   Summers & Holidays 20xx-Present

  • Service all facets of store sales, specializing in friendly customer relations and bringing in repeat clients
  • Organize display setups and promotions

Student Ambassador Admissions Office, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI    September 20xx-May 20xx 

  • Tailored tours to meet information needs of prospective students and parents

Volunteer, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Milwaukee, WI         May 20xx-September 20xx Volunteer Tutor, Indo-Chinese Learning                            December 20xx-May 20xx


First Name Last Name 1324 West Wisconsin Avenue | Milwaukee, WI  53233 | 414-288-7423 | [email protected]

Seeking Full-Time Manufacturing Engineering position at Briggs & Stratton

Technical Skills Section 


Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering | MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY | Milwaukee, WI | May 20xx

Engineering Experience Section


Mechanical Engineer | PENTAIR CO-OP | Milwaukee, WI | September 20xx-August 20xx 

  • Modeled, prototyped, and tested new designs for product development of agricultural pumps to efficiently control levels of water
  • Modified designs to improve efficiency and reduce manufacturing costs
  • Supported implementation process of innovative pump through marketing research and product launch  

Relevant Class Projects 


Drafting Project | ENGINEERING DISCOVERY | Marquette University | Spring 20xx

  • Collaborated with team to sketch complex designs for portable generators using UGS NX6 graphics software
  • Constructed 3D prototype to scale using 3D printer and drafting software

Final Design Project | ENGINEERING DISCOVERY | Marquette University | Fall 20xx

  • Analyzed portable generators to identify major technical flaws
  • Assembled prototype and gave formal PowerPoint presentation on finished project detailing data and techniques used  


Marketing Design Assistant | ALUMNI MEMORIAL UNION | Milwaukee, WI | October 20xx-April 20xx

  • Designed effective promotions to inform student body of upcoming events and products using techniques in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to enhance appeal of campaigns

Campus Involvement Section


Engineers Without Borders , Member | MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY | Fall 20xx-Present

  • Boost campus awareness of organization’s mission through fundraising for civil engineering projects in Guatemala and Honduras

Hackathon | MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY | Fall 20xx-Present

  • Solve design flaw issues with in-home assistive technologies to improve life and safety of elderly community
  • Attend 12-hour event to showcase improvements and gave demonstrations of improved product

American Society of Mechanical Engineers , Member | MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY | Spring 20xx-Present

  • Compete in annual Student Professional Development conference Student Design Competition to build relationships with local professionals and emerging engineering students


Permanent Address:  2808 N. 79 th Street • Des Plaines, IL 60016 • (414) 323-1237 • [email protected]  Current Address:  1317 W. Kilbourn Ave. Apt. B •  Milwaukee, WI 53201 •

Marquette University,  Milwaukee, WI                                                     June 20xx  Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education & Biology Cumulative GPA: 3.60/4.00        Ignatius Scholarship for Academic Excellence  Licenses: WI Certification (s)

Student Teaching Experience Section 


Student Teacher-First Grade, Lincoln Elementary School, Wauwatosa, WI  Jan. 20xx-Present 

  • Analyze student achievement data to determine appropriate interventions and enrichments for students by need
  • Teach unit blending art and space science to develop student-created books about the Sun, Moon and Earth
  • Implement Daily 5 model of literacy instruction emphasizing explicit comprehension instruction & guided reading
  • Use high-interest children’s literature as mentor texts for social studies, science and reading concepts
  • Collaborate with special education teacher to differentiate behavior supports for two students with severe ADHD
  • Communicate in-person and via email with parents about the academic progress and behavior of 27 students
  • Attend Home & School Association meetings to build relationships with families & learn about school community
  • Integrate Smart Board technology into all academic areas  

Student Observation Experience Section 


Field Experience-Fifth Grade, Catholic East Elementary School, Milwaukee, WI     Fall 20xx

Field Experience-Eighth Grade, Longfellow Middle School, Wauwatosa, WI   Spring 20xx  

Field Experience-Fourth Grade, Escuela Vieau School, Milwaukee, WI     Fall 20xx

  • Created group-focused social studies unit about traditional modern Native American culture
  • Incorporated students who had behavioral and learning disabilities into lessons by differentiating activities in lessons and providing additional assistance during these activities
  • Compared and observed multiple teaching methods and educational environments to contribute to professional development 

Other Related Experience


Career Intern, Marquette University Career Center, Milwaukee, WI     Aug. 20xx-Dec. 20xx

  • Coached college students how to create effective resumes and cover letters providing constructive feedback, instruction and additional resources as needed
  • Designed & presented professionalism presentations using Prezi & PowerPoint to student audience of up to 50
  • Managed student presentation requests using Microsoft Outlook & Excel

Service Learner, Penfield Children’s Center, Milwaukee, WI                             Spring 20xx

  • Worked with peers in psychology & speech language pathology as a member of an interdisciplinary team to develop a mock IEP report for an autistic ten year-old
  • Utilized behavioral therapy strategies to engage student in learning activities and increase positive behavior

Tutor, Cathedral Center, Inc., Milwaukee, WI                                                      Fall 20xx

  • Assisted 6 homeless students form diverse cultural backgrounds with homework for over 40 hours

Lifeguard, Des Plaines Park & Rec, Des Plaines, IL                                       Summers 20xx-20xx

  • Enforced rules and regulations in order to maintain a safe environment for all patrons
  • Remained calm during medical emergencies, followed emergency protocol and administered first aid 

Leadership Experience & Extracurricular Activities Section


Peer Advisor, Marquette College of Education Peer Education Advising Resource Program     Aug. 20xx-Present Blogger, Marquette Educator Blog                                                                Fall 20xx  Secretary, McCabe Hall Executive Board                                                     Spring 20xx 

Your resume to-do list

Contact information.

  • Your name as you want to be referred to in the workplace (e.g. Jonathan Baker, Jon M. Baker, J. Michael Baker) 
  • Your name is 2-4 points larger than all other resume text 
  • Current and/or permanent address 
  • Phone number with area code (cell phone is best) 
  • Email address (appropriate addresses only - an address that includes your name is best) 
  • LinkedIn profile link (optional) 


  • OBJECTIVE  included that clearly states your goal OR SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS  included that clearly states your goal and your qualifications OR Your goal is so obvious NEITHER an objective nor a summary is necessary
  • Name of higher educational institution or specialized training program conferring degree
  • Degree or certification obtained/working toward (your PRIMARY MAJOR  determines the degree - BS or BA)
  • Actual or anticipated graduation date
  • Major(s)/minor(s)/area of concentration or emphasis
  • GPA/Major GPA (optional unless required by employer, rule of thumb is to include if >3.0)
  • GPA includes all decimal places (no rounding) and indicates 4.0 scale (e.g. 3.456/4.0)
  • Certifications and/or licenses related to career goal (optional, may be listed here or in a separate section)
  • Honors and/or awards with explanation/context, if necessary (optional, may be listed here or in a separate section)
  • Relevant coursework, projects, and/or thesis (optional)
  • Study abroad experience, formatted as another educational institution (optional)
  • High school only included as a freshman or sophomore (optional) 

Each experience includes: 

  • Organization name
  • Location of organization (e.g. City, State)
  • Date (e.g. month, year OR semester, year)
  • Bulleted action word statements with clear and concise descriptions of skills and accomplishments (only optional for less relevant experience when trying to save space)
  • Other work experience is included that shows dependability, longevity, etc. (optional)


  • Experience section(s) is/are given a name that best reflects content (e.g. Leadership Experience, Marketing Experience, etc.) 
  • Experience listed in reverse chronological order within each experience section (most recent first) 
  • Bulleted action word statements are listed in order of relevance to your objective 
  • Bullets begin with action words 
  • Action words are written in the present tense for current experiences and in the past tense for previous experiences 
  • Action words vary throughout resume
  • Bullets with higher level and most relevant skills/accomplishments are listed first
  • Separate experience sections are strategically used to highlight relevant skills/accomplishments (optional) 


  • Honors and/or awards are listed in their own section (typically includes three or more listings) or under the education section as appropriate (dates optional) 
  • Certifications and/or licenses are listed in their own section (typically  includes three or more listings) or under the education section as appropriate (include date obtained)
  • Activities are listed in their own section and include undertakings during college years (and beyond) at the university and outside of the university (dates optional) 
  • Languages and level of verbal and written proficiency listed in their own section, general skills section, or profile (e.g. native speaker, fluent, proficient, conversant, basic knowledge) 
  • Computer/Technical skills (e.g. software, hardware, social media) and level of proficiency listed in their own section, general skills section, or profile (e.g. beginner, intermediate, advanced)
  • Interests are only included when relevant to objective 


  • Resume is not created using a template
  • Resume is appropriate length based on experience
  • Margins measure between .5” and 1”
  • Font style is simple and clean (e.g., Calibri, Arial, Verdana)
  • Font size measures between 10 point and 12 point and any variations in font size are consistent throughout document and appropriately used for emphasis
  • Methods of highlighting text (e.g. bold, italics, underline) are used appropriately and consistently throughout document
  • White space is evenly distributed
  • Text is aligned in a consistent manner using tabs
  • Sections are arranged to place most relevant information closest to the beginning of the resume 


  • No grammar errors
  • No spelling errors
  • No personal pronouns (e.g. I, me, my, you, their, etc.)
  • Periods are used sparingly or not at all (periods are unnecessary in bulleted action word statements, but may be used in an objective or summary of qualifications)

Cover Letter Writing

Effective cover letters convey a sense of purpose, project enthusiasm for the position or program, and demonstrate your knowledge of the employer or graduate program’s goals and needs.

A positive first impression requires that your cover letter be neat and concise, containing no errors in spelling or grammar.  Each cover letter should be customized to fit the position for which you are applying. You will want to customize your cover letter depending on its purpose. 

Possible reasons for sending a cover letter:

  • A result of a direct search
  • A response to an advertisement
  • A follow up on a contact made through networking

No matter what your reason for sending a cover letter, be sure It contains the following information: 

  • Return address with the date
  • Name, title, organization, and address of the person you are writing

Suggested Cover Letter Structure 

Use the same heading from your resume on the top of your cover letter

Beginning Paragraph 

  • State purpose of letter
  • Catch attention
  • Indicate your interest in the position or company
  • Flatter your audience by using company/ program information found through research

Middle Paragraph(s) 

  • Explain how your background makes you a qualified candidate
  • Give an example, talk about a specific project, accomplishment, or service
  • Highlight information found in the resume

Final Paragraph 

  • Refer the reader to your enclosures (resume, reference, examples of work)
  • Indicate your intentions for follow-up if you plan to do so
  • Repeat a number where you may be reached


  • Complimentary Close (e.g. Sincerely, Regards, Thank you)


1324 W. Wisconsin Ave. Milwaukee, WI, 53233 | 414-288-7423 | [email protected]

Date + Name, Title, Organization, and Address of Recipient 

March xx, 20xx Hiring Manager Alma Center, Inc. 2568 N. Martin Luther King Dr. Milwaukee, WI 53212 Dear Hiring Manager :

Beginning Paragraph, Middle Paragraphs, and Final Paragraph

This letter is in regards to my application for the Case Manager-Life Skills Specialist position currently available with the Alma Center, as posted on the company website.  Based on the position description given, I am confident that my skills and abilities are a good fit for this organization.

The position of Case Manager-Life Skills Specialist at the Alma Center is very appealing to me for a number of reasons.  The mission of the organization, to eliminate violence and abuse in intimate relationships, matches my personal values.  One of my core beliefs is that peaceful interaction is always the best path, and being a part of an organization that also holds those beliefs is something I value highly.  Having the opportunity to work with fathers to foster this belief directly is another strong point of interest regarding this position.  My background is in working with children and teenagers at an environmental risk, and working with the Alma Center would provide me the opportunity to assist this client base, albeit in a different manner than in the past.

The traits I hold match very closely with those you seek in a Case Manager-Life Skills Specialist.  Through my internships I have had the opportunity to work in case management at South Shore Teen Rehabilitation Center, with public welfare programs.  These skills are all important traits for any counselor to have, and especially for a Life Skills Counselor.  During my time at South Shore, I handled numerous case files, working with teenagers to overcome drug and alcohol addictions.  This experience taught me the value of remaining open-minded and compassionate while maintaining a positive attitude, as without those aspects, the clients would not be able to receive the aid they required.

I feel that my experience and strong desire make me an excellent candidate for the position of Case Manager-Life Skills Specialist. I look forward to the opportunity to speak with you in the near future.  If you have any questions regarding my documents or qualifications, please contact me at 414-288-7423 or through email at [email protected].  Thank you for your time and consideration.

First Name Last Name ( in script if sending electronically)

First Name Last Name 

1324 W. Wisconsin Ave ● Milwaukee, WI, 53233 ● 414-288-7423 ● [email protected]

February x, 20xx Ms. Patricia Davis Vice President of Sales, National Firm 123 Technology Drive Milwaukee, WI 53212 Dear Ms. Davis: 

Beginning Paragraph, Middle Paragraphs, and Final Paragraph 

I would like to be considered for the Proposal Writer role, which I learned about through your posting on Marquette University’s Career Manger system.  This May I will be graduating from Marquette University with a degree in Writing Intensive English. I feel that National Firm would be the ideal place to apply my writing skills to a business setting.  The following examples demonstrate how my educational background and professional experience make me an exceptional candidate for this position.

While working as a Peer Tutor at the Ott Writing Center, I partnered with students across all majors to achieve their writing goals.  Being able to switch from creative prose to explaining how semiconductors work in a matter of minutes enhanced my ability to switch tasks quickly and work in a dynamic and often ambiguous environment.  Additionally, as part of this role, I successfully completed advanced training in editing and listening.  All of these skills will help me to effectively compose proposals for National Firm. 

Furthermore in my current role as a Communications Intern at Assurant Health, I craft a variety of written materials including product guides for customers and internal memorandums for the intranet. These projects require me to work collaboratively with representatives from the legal, sales and public relations teams to turn thoughts into final products.  For each project, I listen to each department’s requirements, synthesize this information into written form and then organize it into an aesthetically pleasing format.

These experiences have taught me value of teamwork, flexibility and attention to detail, and I hope they will convince you to learn more about me in an interview.  Additional details regarding my qualifications can be found in the attached resume.  I can be reached on my cell phone at (414) 288-7423 or via email at [email protected].  I will call to follow up on this letter within the next week.  Thank you for considering me for this position.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.  

First Name Last Name (in script if sending electronically)

  • A professional person. Unless requested, do not select friends to serve as “character” references
  • Someone who can talk about your skills, experience, abilities, and work ethic
  • A potential employer may call them and ask questions about you

Choosing Your References 

  • Choose people whom you have asked in advance to serve as references
  • Be sure to ask individuals who will provide honest, candid, and positive recommendations
  • Ask others at the beginning of your job search if they will serve as a reference for you during this particular search (if you search for another job in the future you will need to ask again)

After They Have Agreed

  • Give them a copy of your resume. Ask them for advice or feedback. Talk to them about your career goals so they will be more prepared to talk to a potential employer in a helpful way.
  • Remember that people have busy lives. If there are deadlines for writing letters or completing forms, be sure to tell your references. Check in with them if necessary. While doing so, be respectful and gracious of their other obligations.
  • Let your references know when you have interviewed for a position and that they may be called to be a reference at that point. Send them the job description of the position and your updated resume you used to apply for the position.

Reference List 

For each reference you should list their:

When You Accept Your New Position 

Always follow up with your references when you have accepted the position. Send them a thank you note telling them about your new opportunity.


1324 W. Wisconsin Ave. • Milwaukee, WI 53233 • 414-288-7423 • [email protected]

References Section 

Dr. Sally Wilcox Assistant Professor of History Marquette University P.O. Box 1881 Milwaukee, WI  53201 414.288.7423 [email protected]

Professor for one class and my curriculum advisor for three years. Dr. Ken Smiley Professor of Political Science Marquette University P.O. Box 1881 Milwaukee, WI  53201 414.288.7423 [email protected]

Professor of my advanced seminar course and advisor to my international relations project. Mr. Jordan Jameson Office Manager Background Check Department Wisconsin Department of Intelligence 100 Wisconsin Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53201 414.555.5656 [email protected]

Supervisor and trainer for my Department of Intelligence internship. Ms. Angelique Brown Volunteer Supervisor Teen Service Club 20111 W. Wells Street Milwaukee, WI  53201-1881 414.288.7423 [email protected]

My supervisor and mentor for working with troubled teens. 

You can have your individual questions, concerns, and goals addressed by scheduling an appointment .

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More From Forbes

Writing Cover Letters For A Career Change: Tips And Examples

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Embarking on a career change is a pivotal moment, fraught with uncertainty but brimming with potential. And especially in cases where your resume might not directly align with the job at hand, your cover letter becomes the narrative that connects the dots. A well-crafted cover can illuminate your strengths, align your past experiences with your future aspirations, and persuade potential employers to see the value you bring.

The Importance Of A Cover Letter In Career Changes

In career transitions, your cover letter is your storyteller. It explains the why and the how of your career change, showcasing your enthusiasm and demonstrating how your background equips you with unique perspectives and transferable skills. It addresses potential concerns about your career shift head-on, presenting your transition as an asset rather than a liability.

Tips For Writing A Career Change Cover Letter

1. Personalize Your Approach : Address the letter to a specific person whenever possible. Doing so demonstrates attention to detail and a genuine interest in the position. You want to show that you’re not conducting a generic job search, but that you’ve done your research. You’ve perused (not skimmed) the company website and you read that 20-page yearly report from the CEO. You’ve even read their blog and can quote freely from it. You’ve educated yourself.

2. Emphasize Transferable Skills : Highlight the skills and experiences from your previous roles that are relevant to the new position. Be specific and quantify achievements where possible.

3. Show Enthusiasm and Commitment : Employers want to know that you are genuinely interested in the new field. Express your passion for the career change and your eagerness to contribute.

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4. Tailor Your Narrative : Connect your past experiences to the job you're applying for, demonstrating how your unique background can bring a fresh perspective to the role.

5. Address Potential Concerns : Be upfront about your career change, framing it as a positive decision guided by clear motivation and a strong understanding of the new field.

6. End with a Strong Call to Action : Conclude by expressing your desire to discuss your application further in an interview, showing proactivity and determination.

7. Use Strategic Language : Avoid clichéd adjectives. Opt for vivid, specific language that paints a clear picture of your capabilities and achievements.

Example: General Career Change Cover Letter

Dear [Hiring Manager's Name],

I am excited to apply for the [Position] at [Company], transitioning from a career in [Current Industry] to [New Industry]. My experience in [Current Industry] has equipped me with valuable skills that I am eager to apply in [New Industry]. For instance, while working as [Previous Position], I developed a keen ability to [transferable skill], resulting in [specific achievement].

In [Current Industry], I honed my skills in [relevant skill] and demonstrated my ability to [relevant achievement], directly benefiting my team by [specific outcome]. I am particularly drawn to [New Industry] because [reason for interest], and I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to bring my [specific skill] and [another skill] to the [Position] at [Company].

[Your Name]

Tweaks For Various Career Stages

Whether you are making a change early in your career or transitioning later, your cover letter should reflect your rationale and excitement for this new path.

Example: Early Career Cover Letter

As someone at the early stages of my career, I am eager to leverage the foundational skills I gained in [Initial Field], such as [specific skill], in [New Field]. My recent role as [Previous Position] allowed me to develop [relevant skills or experiences], which align closely with the requirements of the [Position] at [Company].

Example: Late Career Cover Letter

Transitioning into [New Field] at this point in my career is a deliberate and enthusiastic choice, driven by my deep-seated interest in [aspect of New Field]. With extensive experience in [Previous Field], I bring a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective that can contribute to innovative solutions and strategies at [Company].

Tweaks For White And Blue-Collar Roles

Transitioning between white and blue-collar roles offers a unique opportunity to highlight diverse skills and experiences.

Example: White To Blue Collar Cover Letter

I am eager to apply the strategic and managerial skills honed in my white-collar career to the hands-on, dynamic environment of [Blue Collar Field]. My experience in [White Collar Role], where I developed [specific skills], aligns well with the challenges and responsibilities of the [Blue Collar Position] at [Company].

Example: Blue To White Collar Cover Letter

Transitioning from [Blue Collar Field] to [White Collar Field], I bring practical, on-the-ground experience that can inform and enhance the strategic decisions in [White Collar Role]. My background in [Blue Collar Role], where I mastered [specific skills], equips me with a unique perspective beneficial for the [White Collar Position] at [Company].

Including A Career Change Statement On Your Resume/CV

While your cover letter is the ideal place to elaborate on your career change, your resume/CV should also reflect this transition. A brief career change statement, positioned at the beginning of your resume, can effectively set the context for your career narrative. This statement should succinctly convey your transition, emphasizing your commitment to the new field and highlighting any transferable skills or relevant experiences.

How To Craft A Career Change Statement For Your Resume

1. Objective Statement : Begin with a clear, concise objective that outlines your career goals and demonstrates your enthusiasm for your new field.

2. Summary of Qualifications : Follow your objective with a brief summary of your most relevant qualifications, focusing on skills and experiences that transition well into your new career.

3. Highlight Transferable Skills : Clearly identify and emphasize any skills from your previous career that are pertinent to your new path. This not only demonstrates your capability but also shows your proactive approach in aligning your skill set with the new role's requirements.

4. Tailor Your Experience : Adjust the descriptions of your past positions to highlight the responsibilities and achievements most relevant to your desired career path. Use quantifiable achievements to underscore your adaptability and impact.

5. Education and Training : If you have pursued any education or training relevant to your new field, highlight this prominently on your resume to illustrate your dedication and commitment to your career change.

Make Your Language Unique

To avoid sounding like everyone else, remember to use distinctive and precise adjectives in your cover letter and resume. For instance:

  • Instead of "experienced," try "seasoned" or "accomplished," providing specific examples that demonstrate this experience, like spearheading a successful project or leading a team to exceed its targets.
  • Replace "passionate" with "enthused" or "committed," detailing a project or initiative you pursued with zeal, which can resonate more authentically with hiring managers.
  • Substitute "results-driven" with "outcome-focused," illustrating this with a particular scenario where your focus on results led to tangible success for your organization.

Your cover letter and resume are your advocates, narrating your professional journey and articulating why you are not just seeking a new job, but embarking on a new career with purpose and passion. By carefully crafting these documents to reflect your individual story, you position yourself as a memorable and compelling candidate, someone who stands out from the crowd.

Mark Murphy

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International Students

If you are an International student studying in the U.S. you can work part-time, but are restricted by the terms of your visa. Learn more about these requirements and restrictions, the work culture, and application and interviewing process in the U.S. Here are helpful resources to get started:

  • FPU International Programs & Services | start here for support as an FPU International student.
  • Practical Training | discover your CPT & OPT options.
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) | learn about work study, internship & practicum requirements.
  • Foreign Academic Students (USCIS) | find out about U.S. work authorization. 
  • | helpful info & video about working in the U.S. 
  • FPU International Admissions | undergrad & grad services for new International students.
  • Grammar Bytes | provides exercises to help you improve your English skills.

U.S. Job Applications & Listings

U.s. resume, cv & cover letter.

  • U. S. Interview Preparation

U.S. Work Study

Networking is the best source of finding jobs because there is less competition. Becoming involved with  professional associations in your field and your  college’s alumni association are strong networking techniques.

While it may seem impersonal, job aggregators may be the main source for vacancies and application information. Utilizing job boards like FPU’s Handshake , Indeed and LinkedIn can be essential to your job search. Avoid using services that charge a fee, as most respectable services are free. Carefully read the job listing and instructions before applying. It’s okay if you don’t meet the preferred requirements, but your skills match 80% of the minimum qualifications.

Check out  job search  and  internships for more strategies and reach out to us at  [email protected] to get individualized support.

  • Handshake | FPU’s job board focused on connecting students with jobs/internships. 
  • OPT Nation  | lists companies that hire International students & sponsor work authorization.
  • Top 200 Employers | view top  OPT &  CPT companies of 2019.
  • Landing Jobs | global tech jobs not requiring work permits or offering visa/relocation support.
  • Jobbatical  | find a global tech, business or creative job that may offer visa sponsorship.

In the U.S., a resume is used to apply to most jobs at every level or graduate school to communicate your professional identity and give an account of your work and educational experience. It highlights your relevant qualifications for a specific role (focused on accomplishments) and is 1 page for most job seekers (2 pages maximum; reserved for experienced professionals or grad school applications).  View all our  Resume Resources here . 

In the U.S., a Curriculum Vitae (CV) is used to apply to positions in academics (college or beyond), medical, teaching, or research, as well as graduate programs, fellowships, or academic internships. It is written to communicate your scholarly identity and provide an extensive listing of all your work and educational experience (focused on coursework, publications, presentations, research and teaching experiences). A CV is 2+ pages (10 pages maximum; reserved for senior faculty or seasonal professionals).  View all our  CV Resources here .

Cover Letter

The application letter, also known as a cover letter in the U.S., is written to respond to an announced opening or submitting your resume for consideration. A good letter will complement and concisely expand upon your resume, communicating your fit with the position and organization. View all our  Cover Letter Resources here .

Additional Resume, CV & Cover Letter Resources:

  • Academic Success Center  | schedule a writing tutoring session to confirm that your application documents are free of spelling or grammatical errors before submitting. Have several native English speakers & a career counselor also review all documents.
  • Resume Writing Center | application document writing tips for International students.
  • International CV Supplement | Create an international CV (includes specifications for each country).

U.S. Interview Preparation

Interviewing for a job or internship in a different country can be nerve-wracking and quite a culture shock. To get support while building your confidence and interviewing skills, view all our  Interview Preparation Resources here .

Some commonly held cultural norms in the U.S. include:

  • Honesty  | employers want to hear what you really think so they can decide if you will be a good fit.
  • Directness & Efficiency  | when answering a question, stick to the point & don’t digress.
  • Confidence  | talk yourself up without arrogance. Being modest can be viewed as a weakness.
  • Punctuality  | arrive at the interview 10 minutes before it begins.
  • Politeness & Friendliness  | try to be likeable, but don’t overly share.

Management in the U.S. is: 

  • A culture where employees are motivated by their employers.
  • Strongly results-oriented & driven by short-term gains.
  • A culture where employees & employers rarely criticize one another.
  • On a first-name basis right away—except in formal situations.
  • A culture where agendas are distributed before a meeting to stay on task.
  • Focused on “closing the deal” as the goal of most negotiations instead of long-term relationship.

Interviewing Cultural Differences

The cost of tuition, books, health insurance, room and board, and transportation can be a huge hurdle for International students. Working while you study may be a great way to help meet your financial goals and earn money while you earn a degree. FPU can authorize Curricular Practical Training (CPT) that gives International students authorization to gain employment training and work in paid internship positions.

Work study is open to both undergrad and grad International students and includes:

  • Part or full time employment
  • Employment with on & off campus employers
  • "American" wages

Students must be careful not to use so much CPT that it takes away from their OPT. For more details, see  CPT or contact FPU International Programs & Services .

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College to Career: Career Readiness Drop-Ins

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About this event

Stop by for a quick resume or cover letter review! Also, drop ins are welcome for students seeking tips to get their job search started. 

Overview of College to Career Readiness Seminar Series

This event is part of a seminar series designed to prepare students to make a smooth transition from college to career. The seminar series will consist of presentations such as career readiness 101, job search tips, and salary negotiation, and resume writing drop ins. In addition, free professional headshots will be available for students in order to help build a professional online presence! 

This series is perfect for graduating seniors from all majors at Ohio State Lima, and is open to students at all academic levels. 

Completion of the series of events will earn graduating seniors a Career Readiness Certificate! 

For more information, contact Rachel Richardson at [email protected]

Your free, personal tool for learning and working in Europe

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Test your digital skills, work in europe.

Looking for a new job? Europass can help you find the right job:

  • Search for jobs across Europe.
  • Suggestions for jobs that fit your profile and interests.
  • Prepare your CV, cover letter and job applications.
  • Articles on planning your career and working abroad.

Create your Europass today and take the next step in your career.

Take this simple test that will help you understand your digital skills level. When you complete the test you will get a detailed report with a description of your average level. 

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You can create a CV or many CVs with just a few clicks from your Europass profile or from scratch. You can use it to apply for a job, education or training opportunities as well as volunteering. Watch quick tutorial video.

Europass makes it as simple as possible for you to create a Cover letter that stands out and follows the standard structure. You can create, store and share cover letters in 31 languages, choose from different templates to customise your application and share them easily from your Europass Library. Watch quick tutorial video.

The safe step: All about 2FA

Did you know that two out of three people use the same passwords everywhere? This makes it easy for hackers to get access to personal data. Keep your Europass account safer by adding an extra step for protection with the two-step login. All you need is your smartphone and the EU login app.

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5 million registered Europass users

Europass has officially reached 5 million registered users and the platform is continuing to grow in quantity and quality.  Have you explored all the amazing tools Europass has to offer? Significant improvements were made to Europass tools based on your input. Now, we invite you to share your personal Europass story with us for a chance to have it published on our website highlighting the European Year of Skills. Join our community of 5 million users and be a part of the Europass success story!

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    Cover Letter Format. Dear first and last name (address to someone specific or Dear Hiring Manager): Paragraph 1: State what you are applying for and why you are applying to XYZ organization or position. Introduce yourself by saying something about yourself (i.e., I am a senior studying communications at American University).

  24. Resume, Cover Letter, and References Guide

    Resumes, cover letters, or curriculum vitaes are how employers understand your skills, abilities, experiences, and strengths. These documents express your qualifications and interest in the position you are seeking and can potentially lead to an interviewing opportunity. The Career Center is available to help you learn how to construct a resume and cover letter and offer advice for making ...

  25. How to Write a Cover Letter: Guide + Examples

    Don't make a generic cover letter for all your job applications. Each job you apply to deserves a fresh, tailored cover letter. ... She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a degree in Journalism. Throughout her career, she has tackled copywriting, blog articles, journalistic writing, academic writing, resume writing, and even ...

  26. Writing Cover Letters For A Career Change: Tips And Examples

    Tips For Writing A Career Change Cover Letter. 1. Personalize Your Approach: Address the letter to a specific person whenever possible.Doing so demonstrates attention to detail and a genuine ...

  27. International Students

    Cover Letter. The application letter, also known as a cover letter in the U.S., is written to respond to an announced opening or submitting your resume for consideration. A good letter will complement and concisely expand upon your resume, communicating your fit with the position and organization. View all our Cover Letter Resources here.

  28. USF Tampa

    In this presentation, students will understand the purpose, process, and value of a resume and cover letter. At the conclusion of this session, students will know the proper content, style and format for resume development and cover letter writing.

  29. College to Career: Career Readiness Drop-Ins

    Stop by for a quick resume or cover letter review! Also, drop ins are welcome for students seeking tips to get their job search started. Overview of College to Career Readiness Seminar Series. This event is part of a seminar series designed to prepare students to make a smooth transition from college to career.

  30. Home

    Europass is a set of online tools to help with creating CVs, cover letters and also help users to find jobs and courses in the EU. Europass also matches user skills and interests such as location and topic to success suitable jobs. It is a useful tool to find information on studying or working in the Europe.