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Welcome to Principia College's Career Center - Where We Help You Design a Life You Love

Cover Letters

Cover Letters

A cover letter is used as an introduction, should accompany your résumé, and helps distinguish yourself from others. These necessary documents will typically be emailed, mailed, or uploaded to an online form. Please ask us for our template and/or email us a copy of what you have to review.  There are so many rules to follow, we want to be sure you make a good impression! 

Email us at and we will help you work on your cover letter. What a cover letter should achieve:

  • Catch the reader's attention
  • Relate what you have to offer to what the employer needs
  • Communicate next steps

Tips for Writing an Effective Cover Letter

Always write to a specific individual. Do all you can to find the name of the person who will be reading your cover letter and résumé. If a specific name cannot be found, a title may be used. For example, "Dear Hiring Manager".

It's more meaningful if you heard about the opportunity through a colleague, a current employer, or by following the company. Employers don't want to hire people who just want any job and found it among numerous listings; they want to know why you're interested in their company.

Read the job description carefully and highlight the skills and experience you have that fit the needs of the job posting. Typically, cover letters are scanned for less than 15 seconds. 

For emails, use a clear, concise subject line. If the application asks for a specific reference, use it! Otherwise, use something like "Marketing Internship - John Jones." Don't make the recipient guess what the message is about.

For letters, use a proper business letter format. 

Keep it brief and to-the-point, but say enough to make your message persuasive. Generally, two to three paragraphs is about right.

A strong cover letter not only gets your application and/or résumé noticed, it demonstrates your ability to write effectively and clearly. Always check your spelling and grammar. Make sure it's perfect!