Published: April 5, 2021
Person Writing on Computer

When writing a cover letter, do you find yourself unsure where to start, what to share, or how to format it? The cover letter is your chance to showcase your interest in the position so here are the top five tips from our team of CU Boulder recruiters to get you started!

  1. Use the same header from your resume for contact information and a traditional letter format. Include the company’s contact information at the top left-hand corner and the position title. Start your cover letter by addressing someone specifically such as the appropriate contact name for the position. If you are unable to find that information, you can use the department name, to whom it may concern, or dear hiring committee.
  2. Just like your resume, your cover letter should be customized for each position you are applying to. Make sure to include the company name and position title. You may also want to research the company or department so that you can highlight your interest, especially with projects, programs, or values that your skills and experience align with. Show the reader why you are interested in applying.
  3. When formatting your cover letter, you should generally have 3-4 paragraphs (intro, body, and conclusion). Intro: highlight why you are interested in this company and position & include 2-3 reasons you are qualified. Body: provide concrete examples demonstrating your skills and experience. Include specific qualifications that match the job description and answer the question: Why you?  Conclusion: a simple paragraph, reiterating your interest, thanking them, and providing contact information.
  4. Avoid using bullet points in your cover letter - save those for your resume. Your cover letter should tell your story. This is your place to expand on your resume and provide tangible examples of how your experiences and developed skills relate to you being successful in the position you are applying for.
  5. Most importantly, proofread! In addition to having others edit your letter, reading your letter out loud can be a useful way to check for mistakes.