Create Cover Letters

A cover letter is a letter that you send with a resume. A resume is focused on an occupation. The cover letter is for a specific position and can be more personal. Cover letters are targeted to a job lead or employer.

You can use a cover letter sample to get started. Make sure each cover letter you send is different.

Parts of a Cover Letter
Heading and greeting
Every cover letter needs the date. List your name and how to contact you. Address the letter to a specific person.
Opening and introduction
Explain who you are and why you are writing. Tell them how you found out about the position.
Sell yourself. Reveal why you are a perfect and unique match for the position. Explain why you have chosen the employer. 
Assertive closing
Be positive. Tell them that you will contact them.


When you apply for jobs, you will likely be asked for references. References are people who can talk about your skills and work history. Choose your references carefully. You want to list about 3 people who will say good things about you.
Here are some rules about getting and listing references.

  1. If possible, talk to your supervisor before you leave a job and ask if he/she will give you a reference. The best possible reference is a recent supervisor. If you don’t have a recent reference you can use past supervisors, coworkers, supervisees, volunteer managers, teachers, etc. Other nonstandard but acceptable reference providers: current/former clients, academic counselors, business partners, funders, and colleagues at another company/agency. If you have a job and don’t want your current employer to know that you are looking for a new one, ask a colleague that you can trust. 
  2. References come in a variety of shapes and sizes. In order from best to worst, they are:
  • Someone who knows you well, thinks you’re great, is interested in helping you to advance your career, and will respond quickly and cheerfully to a telephoned reference request.
  • Someone interested in helping you to advance your career, but can’t give details over the phone for legal reasons. Ask him/her to write you a general letter of recommendation.
  • Someone who will confirm your past employment over the phone.
  1. Always tell your reference that you are listing them. Before you list any person as a reference, ask for permission. Make sure they have an updated copy of your resume, and a good idea of what kind of jobs you are applying for, and when you are scheduled to interview, so they can be prepared to answer questions well.
  2. Keeping in touch with your references periodically also helps in maintaining up to date contact information. Be sure to connect with them via LinkedIn.
  3. Bring a copy of your references to the interview. Your reference list should be separate from your resume and make sure that you have a copy that you can provide upon request.

 Cover Letter & References Resources

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