From Campus to Career: Crafting the Perfect Cover Letter


Many job posts you’ll encounter will require a cover letter to apply for the position. Hiring managers use cover letters to gain a better idea of applicants’ skills, fit for company culture, and degree of interest in landing the job. Crafting the perfect cover letter is a great opportunity to go beyond your resume to show why you’re the ideal candidate for the position. Here are some tips for making a great first impression.

1. Use a Professional Layout

Come across as a professional by using a standard layout for your cover letter. Begin with a header consisting of your name and contact information followed by the date and then the name and address of the person you’re writing to. If you’re unsure how this should look, use a cover letter template and populate the fields with your own details. After the header, use a greeting followed by the main body of the letter and end with a formal sign-off.

2. Address Your Letter to the Appropriate Person

Whenever possible, address your cover letter to the person reviewing the applications. Use “Dear” followed by the person’s first and last name. If you don’t have the person’s name, use “hiring manager” or a similar position title.

3. Mention Your Reason for the Letter

The first paragraph of your letter should explain why you’re writing it. Mention what position you’re applying for and where you saw the job advertised. Briefly explain why you’re interested in the role and why you think you’d be a good fit.

4. Give an Overview of Your Background

Use the second paragraph of your cover letter to provide detail about your background and why this is relevant to the position. Talk about the skills you’ve gained in college, your professional experience (if you haven’t worked in this field yet, this could be volunteering or internships), and anything else that makes you particularly well suited for the job. Try to focus on just a couple key areas rather than listing everything. Plus, use keywords from the job post, as hiring managers may use these to filter the most appropriate applications.

In the third paragraph, choose an experience or achievement you particularly want to draw attention to. Use an anecdote to demonstrate how you possess a skill or what exactly you were able to accomplish for an employer, charitable organization, or student club. Avoid repeating information from your resume — provide new information or go into greater detail.

5. Summarize the Main Message

Tie everything together with a final paragraph. Summarize why you’re the perfect fit for the position and why you’re interested in applying. Close by welcoming the employer to contact you with information about the next steps to continue the application process and thank the hiring manager for his or her time. Sign off with your name and signature.

If you still have some time before you’ll be leaving college for the world of work, make the most of the months that remain. One way to do this is to look for a better apartment. You’ll find the ideal Niagara College student housing at Parkway Lofts. You can have your own studio apartment or a private room in a shared apartment, with the option for an en suite bathroom. Apply now while there are still a few spaces left.

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