Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Cover Letter

You may have run into this term for internships and scholarships and jobs you’ve applied for. These 2 words show up in the required document list without any other instructions or suggestions from the organization requesting said letter as to what is should look like or include.

Well this is the post that will give you an idea of how to approach this most important of documents for all future job applications.

The first thing to keep in mind is that a cover letter is a letter. It is a business letter in form, but it is still a letter written to people, not machines. Make sure you write an actual letter, otherwise you come across as disrespectful to the people you’re writing to, which will not help your endeavor.

You also need to remember this is the one place you have to explain what you’re writing about.

If you’re writing this letter to ask for money, you will want to introduce yourself briefly. And you want to make sure that you include the dollar amount you are requesting. Along with that, you may want to include the total amount you are covering and other ways that you are coming up with that money. You will definitely want to include how you would use the amount of money you are requesting. No one wants to give money to someone and feel like the money went to something they didn’t want.

If you’re writing this letter as part of a job or internship application, this is the place for you to introduce yourself and explain what you would bring to the company and how they might benefit from hiring you. Provide an experience that has made you into a great candidate. It is also a place for you to share what you would gain from working for them.

Other than that, you want to make sure the letter is formatted like a business letter, and that your tone matches the professional nature of the letter and this type of exchange. You don’t want to make the people you’re trying to convince to give you money or a chance think that you’re not serious about this request. And, as with any written work, make sure you proofread a copy that has also been run through the spell check included with most word processing programs.

So now that you know what a cover letter should include, what does it look like put together? Check this example for a scholarship cover letter.

As with all types of writing, the best way to get better at cover letters is to write them. So when you think a job or internship or scholarship looks like it might fit, write the cover letter and apply! You never know what might happen…

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Filed under Applications, Nicholas Academic Center, Scholarships