Cover Letters

Each cover letter needs to be tailored to demonstrate how you can meet the employer’s needs. Writing a "template" can hurt your application, as these letters measure whether you are really interested in their position. They may also be viewed as writing samples and used to make an easy connection with a qualified applicant. Your cover letter is a story that connects you and the organization and is similar to a persuasive essay demonstrating your qualifications.

Content & Format

Give examples, be concise and convey authentic interest.

Your letter will have three main parts: The Hook (introduction); the Pitch (body), and the Close (conclusion).

Sending Cover Letters

If a letter is sent via email, consider attaching the letter (and your resume) as a PDF file rather than writing the letter in the body of the email. In the body of the email you can let the employer know which position you are applying for, and that your resume and cover letter is attached.


Use our Anatomy of a Cover Letter to see the format put together and examples of sentences. To keep your writing individual and strong, do not copy the language.

Hook a Recruiter with Your Cover Letter

Review cover letter video trainings and more from LinkedIn Learning, provided for free by Brandeis. Find videos on application materials, interviewing, following up, and practice scenarios.

Checklist for a Successful Cover Letter

Is your cover letter …