Constructing an Exceptional Cover Letter
Career Zone offers many resources to help you build an exceptional cover letter!
Where can I find cover letter resources?
It’s simple! All you need to do is log onto your Career Zone portal: https://careerzone.brocku.ca. Once you have accessed your portal you can find resources for cover letters under the “Student Resources” tab in the Dashboard drop down menu, under “Cover Letter & Resume”.
What is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is a professional document that can be attached to your resume when applying to a job. A cover letter gives you an opportunity to explain what you bring to the table that would satisfy employers requirements. This blog will provide you with information on writing an exceptional 4-paragraph cover letter.
Before we dive into more detail on the content on your cover letter, here are some important tips for your cover letter:
- 1 page maximum
- PDF or Microsoft Word Doc
- 4 sections total
- Concise writing
- No grammar, punctuation, spelling errors
- Name and contact header offset from sections using a no-fill box outline (identical to your resume)
Always be sure to address the Hiring Manager before writing.
Your introductory paragraph is meant to spark the interest of the employer! You want to state why you are writing, how you heard of the position, and why you’re interested in the specific organization you’re applying to.
Body paragraph #1
Your first body paragraph is meant to create a desire for the employer to read further! You want to refer the reader to your enclosed resume, and demonstrate how your education, experience, and interests match the job requirements for the position you’re applying to. You don’t want to make the common mistake of mentioning that you’re applying for the position to gain experience. Rather, you should focus on showing the employer what you bring to the table.
Body paragraph #2
Your second body paragraph is meant to show the employer that you have taken the initiative to research their organization or company! Be sure to indicate what interests you about the position, and how this relates to your previous experience and skills.
To conclude your cover letter, you should thank the employer for their time! You also want to ensure that you request an opportunity to meet and discuss your qualifications further. Be sure to restate your email and phone number, along with a time you can be reached at.
Remember to include an e-signature and an enclosure statement at the bottom of your cover letter as well. For more information on your exceptional cover letter, check out our Cover Letter Guidelines on CareerZone!
Starting from Scratch
If you’re starting your cover letter from scratch here are some steps on getting you started:
1. Print/refer to job ad (if applicable)
2. Review CareerZone guideline PDFs and resource sections on CareerZone
3. Create T-chart of job expectations vs your qualifications
4. Apply knowledge and curate new cover letter
5. Submit for review (email@example.com) so we can provide you with feedback!
Connect With Us!
We are here to support you, so don’t be afraid to ask for help! We offer many student resources on our portal (careerzone.brocku.ca) and can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to answer any inquiries you may have.
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by: Megan Vlahiotis, Career Assistant
Edited by Kara Renaud, Supervisor of Career Education, CCEE Department