A cover letter is an important tool to use when applying for a job because it:
- Introduces you to the prospective employer
- Highlights your enthusiasm for the position
- Describes your specific skills and qualifications for the job or internship, and clearly explains why you are a good fit
- Confirms your availability to start a new position
You should always include a cover letter when applying for a job unless you are specifically told not to by the employer. We recommend that you write a cover letter (aka letter of intent) after you have drafted and tailored your resume or curriculum vitae (CV) for a particular job description. For academic faculty and teaching positions, see cover letter instructions in Masters, Ph.D.'s and Postdocs section. When applying online and limited to uploading one document, you can create a single PDF document that includes both your resume and cover letter.
What to Include in a Cover Letter
Use the cover letter template and planner to get started. When drafting your cover letter, keep the following DO’s and DON’Ts in mind:
- Limit the cover letter to one page if possible, unless applying to academic faculty, teaching or research positions.
- Use the same font and formatting in the cover letter as you use in your resume.
- You might also want to use the same header in both a cover letter and resume. See header formatting examples.
- If providing a printed copy, use the same type of paper for both your cover letter and resume. Resume paper can be purchased at the UC Davis Bookstore or at an office supply store.
- Many tech companies prefer the cover letter not be attached, but uploaded as text in an email with the resume attached.
- Use formal, professional language in a cover letter. This is true when sending your cover letter as text in an email (above point).
- Personalize each cover letter to the specific position you are applying to.
- Address your cover letter to a specific person or the hiring manager whenever possible. If you don’t know their name, use one of the following examples:
- "Dear Hiring Manager,"
- "Dear [insert department here] Hiring Team,"
- "Dear Recruiter, "
- “Dear Search Committee Chair and Committee Members:” (used for academic teaching positions)
- "To Whom It May Concern: " Note, this last one uses a “:” not a “,”
- Check for typos, proper grammar and accuracy.
- Use spellcheck, but do not rely on it to catch all errors.
- Have multiple people review your application materials.
- Make an appointment with an ICC adviser to review your application materials before you apply.
- Unless told explicitly not to, you should always include a cover letter in your application.
- Don’t use text abbreviations or emoticons if you are using email.
- Don’t be too wordy or write just to fill the entire page.
- Don’t submit a generic “one size fits all” cover letter; tailor your cover letter to fit each position. Thus, none of your cover letters will be exactly the same, though a lot of content will be similar in each.
- Don’t repeat or summarize your resume in your cover letter. Instead, focus the cover letter on your enthusiasm for the job, excitement about working with that organization, to highlight unique skills that make you qualified for the position and a good fit for the employer.
- Don’t overuse adjectives or superlatives, especially subjective ones (e.g. “You are the best company in the world” or “I am the most hardworking student intern you will ever meet.”).
- Quantify when possible. "I've helped organize three club events, including two successful initiatives attended by 25 people" is a better descriptor then "I've helped organize several club events, including a couple successful initiatives attended by many people."
- Don’t exaggerate your skills or experience.
- Don’t use UC Davis letterhead, logo, or UC seal in your cover letter. [NOTE: For graduate students and postdocs, some departments allow use of department letterhead for tenure-track faculty applications. Check with your department before using.]
Sample cover letter for Internship position at Ericsson
I am writing this application in order to pursue Master’s Thesis, Improving OpenStack Scalability (100985) published in Ericsson career. Afterreadingthedescriptionofyourinternationalmaster thesisprogram,Ihaverealizedthatmycareerinterestsmatchyourcompanyobjectives,andIamexcitedbyyourcommitmentfordevelopingfutureleaders.
Presently, I am studying a ‘Master’s Degree Program in Telecommunication Systems’ at Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH), Sweden. Recently, I had done my research methodology project ‘Performance Analysis of Software Defined Networking Topologies’ using Mininet network emulator connected to POX SDN controller and I have mostly worked with Python Scripting for this project. Withmypreviousworkexperienceandmyexemplaryacademicperformanceasaninternationalmajor,Iwas also shortlisted to work for the European’s future internet XIFI project at BTH. Moreover, I studied programming languages like Perl and PHP. I am a creative, yet result oriented, professional with strong communication skills. During my study course Applied Network Management at BTH, I am well acquainted with Linux OS and have a great passion to work on Shell scripting.
My research interests include in the field of computer networks like SDN, Cloud Computing, IP networks, NFV, and Optical Transport Networks. This made me select Telecommunication Systems as my specialization. I look forward to work in these areas where I can use my strong networking and scripting skills. Furthermore I have also completed CISCO’s CCNA course and won in the zonal round of IBNC, India.
Ericssonappealstomebecauseofitsimpressiveglobalreachandexpertiseinmanyareas.Iamparticularlyinterestedinthis positionbecauseofyourmultinationalreputationforhavingahighlysupportiveandteam-orientedculture Icanofferyouas a studentwiththeabilitytothinkoutsidetheboxandakeendesiretolearn new things, serveyourcompanyandcontributetoyourteam. As the job position is in Stockholm, I will be happy to move there, if thesis requires my full presence.
Ihave attached my resume and transcripts with this application. To process my application, ifyouneed any additionalinformation,pleaselet me know. I appreciate your time and effort for reviewing this application and look forward to meet you soon.
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