Career Center

Cover Letter

keyboard, decorative only

A cover letter is a concise, professional document tailored to a specific position, organization, and industry. The purpose of the cover letter is to express your interest in an opportunity, highlight the unique skills and qualities that make you a good fit, and demonstrate how you can contribute to their success.

Steps to Success

Research and learn the basics of creating an effective cover letter and begin writing a first draft. Use these Career Center Resources to get you started.

Review several cover letters to become familiar with professional formatting, content, and tone. Use our library of cover letter samples as examples.
  Academic cover letters for faculty positions are a bit different than these cover letters. Look through our Academic Job Search Guide for information on what goes into an academic cover letter.

Get Feedback on your works in progress during Drop-In Advising.
Drop-In Advising

Attend a cover letter workshop. Visit the Career Center Event Calendar during the Fall and Spring semesters to find a Workshop that fits your schedule.
Career Center Events

Additional Resources

Use this table as an example and create your own. Do this work ahead of time and writing an effective cover letter will be a much simpler process.

Your Skill or Certification

Where You Developed or Used the Skill

Sentence for Cover Letter


Internship with Microsoft

The three year research experience developed my proficiency in C++ programming and MATLAB scripting.

Leadership Skills

Student Organization at Duke

As President of the Biomedical Engineering society, I developed greater leadership and organizational skills through my experience planning an annual career conference featuring 80 alumni panelists and over three hundred attendees.

Leadership Skills

Internship at RTI International

At RTI International, the success of my internship in Innovation and Commercialization depended on my ability to interact with a variety of professionals.  To achieve these interactions I adapted my leadership skills and ability to communicate.

Leadership Skills

Myers-Briggs Certification

Official certification as a Myers-Briggs facilitator has enabled me to enhance my leadership skills through presenting to professional associations, counseling in one-on-one settings and implementing workshops for higher education institutions.

Leadership Skills

EIT Certification

While pursuing my BS in Biomedical Engineering I obtained my EIT certification which will enable me to continue on a path to becoming a professional engineer.