Are you applying for jobs and having a hard time writing your cover letter? You are not alone. Many students, myself included, find that cover letters can be very tricky to write.

While resumés help present your skills and qualifications, cover letters let you introduce yourself and your intentions when you apply to the company. Even though many students think that their resumés are more important and do not pay enough attention to their cover letters, only a good cover letter can let you stand out from the crowd. Therefore, it is important to start paying more attention to your cover letter now. Here are a few things to keep in mind.


Your cover letter should be tailored to the position you’re applying for. Most employers want to see why you want to work for their companies and why you are a good fit. They can easily recognize when you use the same template for all of your cover letters. 

It is also important that you find out the actual name of the hiring manager to address properly in the cover letter. (Hint: usually listed within the job posting, on the company’s website or LinkedIn) In the case where you could not find a specific person to address to, use a generic salutation.  

Do not repeat your resumé

Your cover letter should not repeat your resumé word for word. Since you can write in full sentences, expand on the points that you’ve mentioned briefly in your resumé. Show employers what you have done in the past, and what you can bring to the position. (Show, don’t tell)  

Make it ‘short and sweet’

Anything that you’ve mentioned in your cover letter should be relevant to the job posting. Keep your writing concise and interesting. A good length would be three quarters to a page long.  Remember: less is more.


Are you thinking that the word ‘proofread’ is misspelled? Yes, yes it is. So make sure you proofread your cover letter for any spelling or grammar mistakes. A simple misspelling, formatting issue or typo can make a bad impression on the person reading your letter.

Are you still unsure about your cover letter before submitting? Book an appointment for a cover letter critique with an advisor at the Career Centre (DMS 1100).