LESSON

12

:

Cover Letter

Estimated Time to Completion: 

3 hours

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What is a cover letter?

An effective cover letter should be directed towards a specific position or company and describe examples from your experience that show off skills the employer needs. Try not to simply repeat your resume in paragraph form, but to complement your resume by offering a little more detail about key experiences. (Source: MIT)


Typical Format of a Cover Letter  (Source: MIT) --5 paragraph structure


Introduction: 1st paragraph

  • Say who you are and what position you are applying for (“I am an MIT Chemistry major graduating in June. I am writing to express my interest in the Chemist position with [Company Name]”).

  • Specify why you are interested in that specific position and organization.

Body: 2-3 paragraphs

  • Cite a couple of examples from your experience that support your ability to be successful in the position or organization.

Closing: Last paragraph

  • Thank the reader for their time.

  • Consider restating succinctly why you are a good candidate.

  • State your desire for an interview and include your contact information (phone/email).

Here are some great sample cover letters from MIT graduates. Recognize that cover letters do not need to strictly follow that 5 paragraph format listed above. However, you must have the following things in your cover letter for sure:

  • MUST be less than 1 page. Do NOT send in a 2 or 3 page cover letter, the recruiter will likely not even read it

  • MUST have your signature at the bottom. This adds an extra element of professionalism to the letter. Feel free to use this website to create a free electronic signature!

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PROJECT: 

Write out a cover letter for a position you are interested in! Use the 5-pargraph structure described above as a guide. Send it to the Key team if you would like to have it reviewed (hello@keylearning.io)

QUIZ: 

In the next lesson, we will be walking through how to take your resume to the next level and secure your dream job. Many people send their resume to hundreds of companies and never hear back. One of the main reasons this happens is because they just sent a generic resume in. Review the next lesson to make sure this does not happen to you.