Help introduce your resume and set yourself apart from fellow candidates with a dynamic cover letter. Explore the cover letter resources below and schedule an appointment to meet with the Syracuse University Career Services team today!
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter accompanies the resume when submitting an internship or job application. It is an opportunity to highlight your unique experiences, skills and personality, providing an opportunity to convince an employer that you’re a good fit for the position.
How do I start a cover letter?
- Grab the reader's attention with a relevant accomplishment or detail that will differentiate you.
- Use the job description to write your cover letter. While reading, identify key skills and details requested.
- Use your cover letter to connect your personal story and emphasize how you can provide those requested professional skills. Focus on what you can contribute.
- Draw upon previous internships, jobs, academic work, volunteering and personal projects.
- Make an appointment to meet with the Syracuse University Career Services team and discuss how to build a cover letter today!
Cover Letter Best Practices
- The cover letter should be less than one page and easy to read. Avoid large blocks of text.
- Talk achievements, not duties. “Recruited 85 new members for my student organization,” sounds more impressive than “responsible for the recruitment of new members.”
- Proofread and stay consistent. Use the same font, font size and match the headers of your cover letter and resume documents.
- Make an appointment to meet with the Syracuse University Career Services team and review your cover letter today!
Matching a Cover Letter and Resume to an Internship or Job Opportunity
- Print out the internship or job opportunity description.
- Highlight skills, qualifications and experiences that resonate with you.
- Enter the job description into a word cloud platform (e.g. tagcrowd.com). What are the top skills, key words or qualities they are looking for?
- Look through your resume. Do you have experiences or skills that match what is being looked for? Expand and emphasize on them by including key words from the description.
- Identify three to four skills from the job description to highlight and provide examples of in your cover letter.
- Don't forget to proofread!
- Send your cover letter and/or resume to Syracuse University Career Services for additional support proofreading and/or assistance organizing your resume, cover letter and more.
Cover Letter Example
100 Oak Street
Syracuse, NY 13244
October 25, 2013
Employer’s name and title (if available), followed by the company’s name and address.
Ms. Eloise Richards
Sustainability Roundtable (SR) Inc.
1 Broadway, Floor 14
Cambridge, MA 02142
Dear Ms. Richards:
First Paragraph: Get the reader’s attention. Establish a connection with the job.
I have investigated sustainability, best practices related to groundwater protection, and their potential economic impact, both in my independent research at Syracuse University and in my internships for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and in Chile. For this reason, I was excited to learn of the opportunity to support your client advisory services. I am both interested and highly motivated to contribute to research reports that include actionable guidance for executives. I believe I have the research, writing, and interpersonal skills necessary to successfully carry out the Research Intern’s responsibilities.
Middle Paragraph(s): Persuade the reader and include examples related to the opportunity.
Researching and writing about environmentally-related legislation at both State and Federal levels has broadened my knowledge and analytical skills and has specifically introduced me to databases and other sources of information pertinent to the drive for sustainability. My internship at the Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean (ECLC) in Chile expanded my research skills to include international sources. My experience composing written reports and summaries for international audiences and preparing self-help materials for the general public will help me meet SR Inc.’s needs for reports and briefings for member-clients. I would be happy to submit samples of my writing upon request.
My teamwork and interpersonal skills have been developed as a leader in student activities. From planning events for groups of students and recruiting new members for our student government organization, to presiding over sensitive hearings on possible election code violations, I have led and motivated peers while acting in accordance with the Student Association regulations. I would bring useful interpersonal skills to the teamwork effort at SR Inc.
Closing Paragraph: Reiterate your message and offer thanks.
I would be pleased to expand on my experience, skills, and personal commitment in an interview and I am available by phone, Skype, or in person. You may contact me by phone at (315) 555-1234 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Juan J. Torino