student in media lab

What Is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a standard professional letter with norms for content and format that are recognized by employers in every field, profit and nonprofit. When you apply for a job or internship, you attach your resume to a one-page cover letter that contains three or four short paragraphs.

The main purpose of a cover letter is to persuade an employer to look at your resume and grant you an interview. A cover letter should:

  • Briefly explain what position you seek and how you found out about it
  • Highlight specific skills or accomplishments that qualify you for the position
  • Show a bit of your personality and express your enthusiasm about the position and organization

An effective cover letter promotes your most attractive and significant professional traits. It displays your writing skill and offers a sense of your individuality that isn't apparent in a resume. Its appearance gives employers their first impression of your organizational skills and attention to detail. That's why it is especially important to avoid spelling and grammatical errors.

Stay In Touch
With Hampshire College
Snail Mail
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002