Writing center

Cover Letter

Every successful job search begins with a great resume – and the best resumes come with cover letters attached. This section contains the answers to all of your questions about cover letters, plus includes important instructions for writing a cover letter, cover letter samples, and cover letter formats.

What is a cover letter?

Many who are new to the workforce ask: “What is the purpose of a cover letter?” The answer is a simple one. A cover letter serves as a formal method of introducing oneself to a potential employer. It is traditionally attached to a resume or cv, and should be tailored to the situation at hand.

Employers are always on the lookout for the individuals who are best suited to jobs on offer, and cover letters allow them to look for those candidates who might be best for certain positions. Your cover letter is a way for you to stand head and shoulders above others who might not have tailored their own cover letters specifically for the job on offer, or who have not provided a well-written cover letter.

What types of cover letters are there?

There are a few different types of cover letters. Although cover letter formats are somewhat similar, it is very important that you remember to carefully tailor your cover letter to the situation at hand. As you explore this section of Ginger’s writing center, you’ll discover that there are a few main types of cover letters.

When you write a cover letter for cv, for example, it serves primarily as a letter of introduction and should include referral information in the first paragraph, i.e. sources such as professional peers, mentors, and past or current employers. When writing a cover letter for resume, the focus is on your qualifications, whether you are sending the resume in response to a hiring notice or if you are simply prospecting.

Any time you write a cover letter for a job application, ensure that you carefully consider your audience and take a little extra time to tailor it to the situation. Doing this increases your chances of impressing a potential employer enough to land an interview. Be sure to read Ginger’s cover letter samples and tips before setting out to prepare your own cover letter.