Cover Letter

While your resume provides potential employers with your experience, it doesn't paint the picture of who you are as a person. A cover letter is used as a supplement to a resume to state your intent, passions, experiences, and provide a high level summary of your background to provide context on why you would be the best fit for the role.

A cover letter is a personal document that lets you express your personal success story to the hiring team.

Check out our tips below on how you can construct the best cover letter.


Want to take your cover letter to the next level? Check out self paced Canvas workshop on cover letter writing to learn how to take your cover letter to the next level!

Canvas Course

Cover Letter Research 

Start with a clear focus and understanding of the job. Review the job description, and learn as much as you can about the employer and industry from others, websites and social media. Determine what the employer's priorities are, and how your skills and experiences overlap with their needs.

Constructing A Cover Letter

A great cover letter is like a well-written essay:

  • There is a clear central idea (you are the ideal candidate),
  • With specific evidence to demonstrate this (examples from your previous experiences)
  • A conclusion invites the next steps (the opportunity of an interview)
  • Three methods you can remember to follow when constructing your cover letter. 
    • The Bring (it) Back (to) Benefit
      • When writing your cover letter, it can be easy to focus on a situation and the actions you took without explaining the benefits of these actions. When discussing a particular situation, try to relate each experience to the benefits for your future employer, such as how the skills you used relate to position or organization to which you are applying. 
  • STAR
    • Situation - explain the context of the situation
    • Task - describe the tasks that you had to do
    • Action - describe the actions that you took
    • Result - explain the results based on what your situation was
  • CARE 
    • Context of the situation
    • Actions that you took
    • Results of those actions
    • Evaluate the actions you took
  • A general structure to follow            
    • The Introduction: Make the Connection
    • The Body: Acknowledge Your Strengths
    • The Conclusion: End With Confidence

Writing Your Cover Letter


  • Introduce yourself, demonstrate your knowledge of the organization, and summarize how you will make a difference
  • Focus on how you can contribute to them and to the position, not on what they can do for you
  • WHAT excites you about the position and WHY?


  • Provide two or three examples from your past work, volunteer positions, or training to demonstrate past success
  • Use specific details to illustrate how your strongest and most relevant skills, experience and qualifications meet the position’s requirements
  • You may have more than one body paragraph, focus each one to a central theme or skill set cluster


  • Restate your interest in a meaningful way
  • Summarize your fit with their needs
  • Enthusiastically request an interview


  • Does your tone, word choice, and writing style, show your enthusiasm and interest?

Questions To Ask While Reviewing

When reviewing your Cover Letter, be sure to ask yourself the following questions to ensure you have successfully provided the most detailed letter to the employer of who you are

  • Is the cover letter visually interesting?
  • Is the cover letter easy to read?
  • Do I clearly state WHY I want the position?
  • Does the cover letter address the employer's needs?
  • Is the tone appropriate?
  • As the writer, have I created a unique and readable personal letterhead?
  • Are there absolutely no errors?
  • Does it address a specific person
  • Is it brief?
  • Does it use clear and professional language?
  • Does it "Talk" to the employer, is it descriptive with an engaging tone and voice?
  • Will it persuade your employer to read your resume?
  • Does every word count?
  • Does it tell the employer what you can do for the company benefits?
  • Is it professional-looking paper stock? (for hard copies)

Next Steps

Now that you have fine tuned your resume, book an appointment with one of our Career Peers for feedback or you can move on to our guide on writing a passionate and unique cover letter for your application below!