Craft a Noteworthy Cover Letter

Before you apply for a job, it is critical that your application package, including your cover letter, is the best that it can be. Learn how to write a cover letter that leaves a great impression and makes a potential employer want to know more about you.

How to Write a Cover Letter

Get their attention. Intro Paragraph

  • Explain why are you writing this letter.
  • Indicate the position you are applying for and how you learned of the position.
  • If you are “prospecting” to determine if the organization has unpublished opportunities, or acting on a referral from one of your professional friends, indicate how you learned about the organization.
  • Integrate the company research you'd done by explaining why you want to work there.
  • Outline the specific reasons why you are ideal for the position.  
  • Show off your experience.

Make them want to know more. Body Paragraph(s)

  • Describe yourself and why you're worth inviting for an interview by demonstrating to the employer how your interests, education and experience fit the requirements described in the position postings. 
  • Show, don’t tell. Use specific examples that illustrate your related skills and experience. Your goal is to set yourself apart from other applicants.
  • If you are prospecting, describe how do you see yourself fitting with this organization.
  • Refer to your resume, but don't list the contents of it. 
  • Emphasize how your variety of experiences and transferable skills that you've gained are connected to the position and will benefit the organization.

Tip: It is acceptable to break this into two paragraphs and use bullets.

Make it easy for them to take the next step. Closing Paragraph

  • Refer to your resume for further details about your experiences and qualifications.
  • Reiterate why you want to work at that specific organization.
  • Offer your contact information.
  • Thank the employer for their time and consideration.


(Your Signature)


Tips to Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out

  • Customize your cover letter to each position to demonstrate your interest and that you’ve done your research.
  • Feature the right experiences from your resume that make you a perfect fit for the position.
  • Be clear and get to the point.
  • Use the body of the email as your cover letter. Your resume can be an attachment. 
  • Keep it to a single page, pay attention to details (e.g., address the letter specifically to the hiring manager by name).
  • Try not to repeat your resume. Instead, describe additional details that you weren’t able to squeeze onto your resume.
  • Proofread. Ask family or friends to check for spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Get it reviewed by an expert. UB's Career Design Center is available for drop-in appointments Monday through Friday.

Additional Resources

Visit the Career Design Center website for many great resources, including resume, CV, cover letter and thank you note samples.