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Twardowski Career Development Center

Cover Letter & Other Correspondence

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Twardowski Career Development Center

225 Lawrence Center
705 S. New Street
West Chester, PA 19383

Phone: 610-436-2501

Monday-Friday: 8:00am-4:30pm (Fall & Spring Semesters)
Monday-Friday: 8:00am-4:00pm (Summer)

The career center follows the University’s calendar for holidays, delays, and closures.

Drop-In Hours (no appointment needed):
Monday-Friday: 1:00-3:00pm

About The Center & Staff Directory

Cover Letters - What to Include

Cover Letter Template

700 W. High Street
West Chester, PA 19383 (Your Address)

April 6, 2017 (Today's Date)

Ms. Breanna Jones
Human Resources Manager
ABC Company
500 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19118 (Employer's Address)

Dear Ms. Jones:

Opening Paragraph (Length: 2-4 short sentences): PROVOKE INTEREST
Use an opening sentence that clearly and concisely states your reason for writing. Mention the position about which you are corresponding. There is room for creativity but be appropriate. Use an "Interest Creating Sentence" to:

  1. Refer to the employer's job description or company goal/mission
  2. Show your knowledge of the employer and their needs
  3. If someone referred you to the opportunity and/or you have permission to use someone's name when reaching out to the employer, do so here

Give information to show your specific interest in the company. Similar to a thesis statement, identify why your unique skills, education, and related experiences would make you an asset.

Body of the Letter (Length: 1-2 short paragraphs): STIR CURIOSITY
Share examples of key educational, work, and extracurricular experiences that demonstrate your strengths, competencies and abilities. Align your skills and experiences with the needs of the employer as stated in the job description. Demonstrate what you can contribute in this role. Select items on your resume that are directly related to the position or organization and expand on them. Do not simply repeat what is on your resume! Researching both the position and company will facilitate the writing of this second/third paragraph(s). Give details of your background that will show the reader why you should be considered as a candidate and how you can add value.

Closing Paragraph (Length: 2-3 short sentences): REITERATE GOAL
Take time to thank the employer for looking over your application materials, and restate your interest in the position and/or organization. Include a "confidence statement" as a summary without introducing new information (e.g., I am confident that my customer service experiences and marketing training have me well-positioned to contribute to your team). Also, express your willingness to follow up with more information if needed, and provide your phone number and email address for contact. Refer the reader to your enclosed resume or other materials.


Rammy W. Chester (Type your name under your handwritten signature)
Enclosure: Resume


  • DOs:
    • Use the same font style as your resume
    • Fill one page of content using block style (e.g., no paragraph indents and insert a blank space between paragraphs)
    • Address the letter to a specific person in the organization or "Dear Hiring Manager" is appropriate
    • Save as a .pdf to ensure formatting and translation from computers
    • Attach the cover letter and resume as separate documents when emailing your documents and write a brief message referencing your attached materials
    • Print your document (if a hard copy is required) on resume paper and include a handwritten signature
  • DON'Ts:
    • Avoid intricate fonts or those with narrow or wide spacing
    • Do not address your letter "To Whom it May Concern"; be more personalized
    • Avoid bulleted statements like in your resume; this document is a writing sample
    • Never be generic; a cover letter should be prepared individually and tailored to that particular company

Requests for Salary History

When an employer requests a salary history (what you've earned in the past) or salary requirements (what you hope to earn in this job), many job seekers find themselves at a loss. You don't want to price yourself out of a job, but you don't want the employer to offer less than the going rate for the position. So what's the right answer?

  • Don't include salary history on your resume. Handle the request at the end of your cover letter.
  • Respond to the salary history question positively without giving a specific amount. (Example: "I'm earning in the mid-40s.")
  • Research the market value for the position and for someone with your skills and background; give at least a $3,000-$5,000 range when providing salary requirements.
  • You may also respond to the salary requirement question by writing "salary is negotiable" or "I would be delighted to discuss specific salary details commensurate with my experience as part of the interview process."
  • Be prepared to respond to this question in an interview. Carry a list of your positions in reverse chronological order, including the name of the company, your title, a synopsis of your duties, and, lastly, a general compensation amount (e.g. mid-40s).
  • Don't lie about your salary history. Employers may verify salary history through reference checks.
  • Salary requests are difficult for all job searchers to handle, not just new college grads. The key is to shift the focus, politely but firmly, from what you made in the past to competitive compensation for the position you want.

Some of this information is courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

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