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The cover letter has three parts:

1. The first paragraph tells why you are writing: identifies the employer and position by name, and conveys how/where you found the job lead.

2. The second section, which can be more than one paragraph, tells how your background, experience, and skills are related to this job.

3. The third paragraph is your close: what do you want to happen next?


  • Send a cover letter with every resume you send
  • Address the letter to a specific person and title
  • Print each letter individually (no copies!)
  • Limit to one page
  • Sign you name


  • Address to a title of department, “To whom it may concern”, or Dear Search Committee” (unless there is NO alternative)
  • Be pushy or assuming; just state your qualifications.
  • Mass produce; all letters must be specific to the organization and job.