Career Services Center

Rockwell Hall
Commons Level
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
Phone: 412-396-6644
Fax: 412-396-6646

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    Cover Letters

    Cover Letters

    Marketing yourself begins with the cover letter. Employers seek candidates who present themselves in a concise, inspired, and professional manner. You write cover letters to grab employers` attention and get them to read your resume!

    The cover letter ...
    • is a formal business letter and marketing document that accompanies your resume when you are applying for a specific job or inquiring about potential job openings.
    • customized and forceful.  It should be between two and four paragraphs.
    • is used to sell your skills and qualifications to the reader.  It should focus on the “fit” and complement the resume, not repeat it. It should be able to stand alone.
    • should make it easy for the employer to understand what you bring to the position.  Use positive self-descriptive words to match employer’s needs and concrete examples of your claims. 
    Do not:
    • overuse “I”.
    • undersell yourself.
    • go beyond one page and waste the employer’s time with too much information.
    • just “list” your experiences and characteristics.  Show knowledge of the field, the employer and/or position.

    Remember:  Show confidence, but not conceit.  You are attempting to persuade the employer to ask you for an interview.