Cover Letter Resources
What’s the best way to get your cover letter noticed? Personalize it. Employers can tell when a cover letter is generic; always avoid sending in generic application materials.
How to Personalize your Cover Letter
- Find a specific person to address your cover letter to instead of writing “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam”. Can’t find an exact person? At least address your cover letter to “Dear [Organization Name] Hiring Manager”
- Include a statement or two in your first paragraph about why you are interested in specifically that company/organization and that particular job/internship.
- Focus on the most relevant experiences and qualifications written in the job description and provide proof that you meet or exceed what they’re seeking.
Sample Structure of a Cover Letter
Paragraph-by-paragraph, learn what information to include in future cover letters.
City, State ZIP Code
Name of Individual You are Addressing Your Cover Letter to
Job Title of Individual
Name of Organization
City, State ZIP Code
Dear [Name of the Hiring Manager]:
First Paragraph: Be enthusiastic and indicate your reason for writing (i.e., the specific position, type of work). Tell how you learned of the opening. (If referred by someone - professor, relative, former employer/employee, etc. - it is a good idea to mention that person's name and that they suggested you write. State specific reason(s) for your interest in the position and/or the organization.
Second Paragraph: If you recently graduated, explain how your academic background makes you qualified for the position. If you have related experience, point out specific achievements or unique qualifications that relate back to the position in which you are applying. If you do not yet have related experience, showcase how you are eager to have this experience be the next step for you professionally. Remember to reiterate why you are interested in that specific position with that specific employer.
Final Paragraph: Indicate your desire for an interview to discuss how your interests and background fit the needs of the organization and the position. State your contact information (phone number, email address, etc) and other materials that may be helpful for them to learn more about you (portfolio, LinkedIn profile if complete). Thank the reader for their time and consideration.
Sample Cover Letters
5678 Turtledove Drive
College Park, MD 20740
September 1, 20XX
Mr. Juan Sebastian Roa
Head of Development and Communications
4110 Kansas Ave NW
Washington, DC 20011
Dear Mr. Juan Sebastian Roa:
I recently located the Communications Intern position with the Spanish Education Development (SED) Center through the University of Maryland's job and internship database, Handshake. I am a second year student with a communication major and also intend to minor in Spanish Language and Cultures, which is also my native language. I am interested in this position because it represents a convergence of both of my interests - education through media, particularly social media, and the Spanish language and culture. With my strong written and verbal communication skills and my experience with using social media through my student organization, I believe I am very qualified to take on the Communications Intern role with SED in order to help further the mission of your organization.
I have had several opportunities to refine and strengthen my written and verbal communication skills through my experience as a Teaching Assistant for an Introduction to Communication course. In this role, I collaborated often with the professor and also served as a liaison between the students and the professor. I graded papers, helped facilitate group conversations, and took advantage of the opportunity to present to the class about the role of language and communication in today's global society. Ultimately, in this experience, I learned how to lead discussions, how to present, and developed a connection with the professor who helped me improve my writing skills.
I have also developed competency with using several social media outlets. This past year I was the public relations and social media chair for my student organization. Independently, I developed a plan involving social media for how the organization could increase membership and event attendance. I utilized TikTok, Instagram, and Reddit and as a result of my strategic plan there was an event increase of about 70% for my student organization.
I am very excited about this opportunity to apply for an internship that truly represents where I see myself heading professionally. I look forward to hearing from you regarding next steps of the application process.
123 Elm Street
College Park, MD 20740
April 1, 20XX
Director, Quality Control
Merck & Company, Inc.
410 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Dear Ms. Thomas:
At the University of Maryland Fall Career & Internship Fair, I had the opportunity to speak with a recruiter and learn about the entry-level Quality Control position available with Merck & Company, Inc. I will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, specializing in statistics. My interest in corporate production and plant management has prompted me to contact you about this opportunity.
As you can see from my resume, my production internship with Kraft Foods last summer included valuable experience in both quality control and operations management. I have also taken many related courses, which I’m certain will provide a strong theoretical foundation for employment in this area. These courses include Applied Research Methods, Business Statistics, Collective Bargaining and Operations Management. I have also been active in many business-related campus activities. My self-motivation and independent work ethic, along with my aptitude for statistics, make me a strong candidate for this position.
I am eager to meet with you to further discuss this exciting opportunity. I look forward to hearing from you regarding next steps in the process. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Meet with Us to Review Your Cover Letter
Review the tools and samples above. Make edits to your own cover letter and have your best effort cover letter reviewed by our staff.