Any time your resume is not going to be hand delivered (either through a networking contact or at a job fair), it should be submitted with a cover letter – even by email. A cover letter is a one-page letter (if printed) that identifies the role for which you are applying and how you learned of it, as well as, summarizes your qualifications, and expresses your interest in that specific opportunity. As it is introducing the resume, it should not repeat the resume. Cover letters also provide employers with an example of your professional writing skills.
Cover letters should be unique to each employer based on the skills and qualifications of the position and the uniqueness of the employment setting. However, once you develop a strong base cover letter, you will be able to use it as a guide for future letters.
As your cover letter focuses, on skills, one strategy for cover letters is to focus on your personal qualities as a way of introducing your skills (i.e., “I am extremely committed and hard working as demonstrated, not only through in my clinical assignments, but also in my experience with the Student Nursing Association, where I served as a committee chair,” or “I am a fast-learner as demonstrated through my med surge rotation, when my supervisor indicated I was able to ___ procedure faster than any other nursing student she had supervised.”)
Cover Letter Tips
- Use a standard business letter format, block (left justified throughout) or modified block (indents)
- Use traditional fonts (Times, Calibri, Arial, etc.)
- Proofread – your cover letter should be error free
Cover letter Model & Sample
To have your cover letter reviewed or for help writing a cover letter, meet with the Career Counseling Officer – contact Ceil at email@example.com to schedule an appointment. Or send your cover letter as an attachment to the above email, and it will be returned within 2 business days.