Cover Letter

Cover letters are key when interviewing. It is a personal letter to the company as to how you skills and abilities fit within the job description. The first paragraph should be introducing yourself to the employer and how you found out about the job. Listing the key competencies they are looking for is crucial. If there is a name on the job posting put the name on the cover letter. If there is no name contact the office and ask who you can address your cover letter to. This not only shows that you took the time to personalize the cover letter but that you are really interested in the position and you took the time to find that out which shows interest in the company.

Sample:
Full name 
address
phone number, email adress
Current Date

John Smith
position title
ABC Company
123 Street
Edmonton, Alberta A0B 2C3

Job Title: Science Internship Student
Reference number: 123

Dear John Smith,

Introducing yourself to John Smith. How you found out about the job posting and key points in how you are a good fit for the company.

Second/third paragraph/. List traits in how you are a good fit with demonstrating how. For example: 

Over the past year I have been a part of many labs and group projects. Working in labs you have to have pay attention to many little elements in experiments and to keep details statistics on each experiment.

In group projects I was the lead and had to look over each person' contribution and provide feedback and advice put the presentation together so it is seamless. I received positive feedback from my peers and instructor in the group project and am particularly proud that I took the initiative and gained the trust and support of my peers.

Fourth paragraph. Again stating more of your amazing abilities and how they would apply to the job you are applying for. Only if you have the room and again a key point listed on the job posting.

Fourth paragraph. Thanking the employer and again wrapping up the key abilities you stated in the top paragraphs and how you would be a good fit. Provide only ONE phone number and ONE email address you can be reached at. Having more than one is too confusing.

Sincerely,
First name, last name

TIPS:
  • Make sure the email address is a valid one that you access at least once a day. Ualberta is the best address. Professional and has your name. Do NOT use cute screen names or ones that are questionable. i.e. beer4ever@gmail.com
  • Use an electronic signature. If you can scan your signature and insert into your cover letter makes it look more professional.
  • Upload your cover letter and resume as ONE document. Employers get MANY applicants and to search for two document instead of one makes things easier for the employer and more of a desirable candidate.
  • Covert your cover letter and resume into a .pdf document or something that cannot be edited. It protects you and your documents. Word is considered an "unfinished" document, .pdf is considered "finished" 
  • Be creative with your cover letter and resume. If you have a design background, experiment with different formats.  Make sure the cover letter has some white space and looks balanced.