Student/Alumni Virtual Help Desk:
(Tu: 10am – 2pm ET | Th: 10am – 2pm ET)

Student/Alumni Virtual Help Desk:
(Tu: 10am – 2pm ET | Th: 1pm – 4pm ET)

Employer Virtual Help Desk:
(MW: 12pm – 2pm | TuTh: 11am – 1pm ET)

Cover Letters and Other Correspondences

Whether you are following up after a career fair or applying for an internship/job, your correspondence with employers creates an impression and illustrates your communication skills. Always use a professional tone and polished language. Adhere to the 3 Cs Rule: all correspondence must be clear, concise, and compelling. You must state very clearly who you are and why you are writing. Your message must be concise and get to the point. Finally, your goal is to compel your reader to take further action, such as arranging an interview or extending a job offer.

Cover Letters

The goal of the cover letter is to persuade the reader to review your resume by summarizing and combining experiences in one pack-it-with-a-punch-sentence which provides the qualifications that match the employer’s requirements. When sending your resume via email, the body of your email message is your cover letter.  Generally speaking, your cover letter can include three paragraphs.

Sample Email Subject Lines:

  • Response to a job/internship posting: (Company Name) Ad for a Job Posting on Handshake
  • Networking with employers or following up on referrals: Met You at the Rutgers Career & Internship Fair Referred by ____________________________________
  • Canvassing employers to explore potential opportunities: Strong Applicant for Your __________ Department 

Sample Lead in Sentence for 1st Paragraph:

  • I am a ______________ major in my ______ year at Rutgers University and am writing in response to your job posting on for a ________________.
  • I am very interested in the __________ position you have advertised in the New York Times and have attached my resume for your review. The position matches my background, experience, and career interests perfectly.

Sample Lead in Sentence for 2nd Paragraph: (Follow with a comparison of your qualifications/selling points and their requirements)

  • I possess many of the qualifications mentioned in your ad, including:
  • Please allow me to draw your attention to a few of the ways my background meets your requirements:
  • The attached resume provides a detailed outline of the skills I have acquired through my education and work experience. Those that may be of particular interest to you include:

Sample Final Paragraph Closing:

  • I would like to meet personally to discuss the ways I can contribute to your organization’s needs. I can be reached at ________. Thank you for your time and consideration.
  • I look forward to meeting you to discuss the needs of your _______department and how my background can accommodate them. I can be reached at _______to arrange an interview at your earliest convenience.
  • I welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss in more detail my qualifications for the position. I look forward to hearing from you soon to set up an interview. Thank you.

Thank You Letters

  • Make sure to get business cards from all recruiters to ensure the correct spelling of their names and email addresses.
  • Send an email thank-you letter within 24 hours after your interview. (Subject Line: Thank You from___________________)
  • Your goal is to impress the interviewer with your appreciation and reiterate your qualifications and interest in the position.
  • If you met with more than one individual, send personalized thank you letters to each interviewer. Hiring decisions are often made by consensus, and you will want to impress everyone you met by including something specific that was discussed during your meeting.

General Professional Email Guidelines

Use the following email guidelines to create a positive impression:

• Use an appropriate subject line for your email (see samples on page 29 of the Career and Internship guide).

• Use professional salutations such as “Dear Mr. or Ms.” and be sure to spell his or her name correctly.

• Take the time to proofread, spell check, and grammar check your message before sending.

• Do not use slang terms, text message abbreviations, emoticons, overly stylized fonts, graphics, or multi-colored backgrounds.