Cover letter

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A cover letter, covering letter, motivation letter, motivational letter or a letter of motivation is a letter of introduction attached to or accompanying another document such as a résumé or a curriculum vitae.[1]

For employment[edit]

Job seekers frequently send a cover letter along with their curriculum vitae or applications for employment as a way of introducing themselves to potential employers and explaining their suitability for the desired positions.[2] Employers may look for individualized and thoughtfully written cover letters as one method of screening out applicants who are not sufficiently interested in their positions and/or lack the necessary basic skills.[1]

Cover letters are typically categorized according to two purposes:

  • applying for a specific, advertised opening ('letter of application')
  • expressing interest in an organization when the job seeker is uncertain whether there are current openings ('letter of inquiry').[3]

According to studies, a good cover letter should:

  • be specific and up-to-date,
  • be well punctuated and spelled, and grammatically correct. It should be free of mistakes and typos,[4]
  • use timelines to highlight chronological information,
  • reference to the latest job positions, most closely related to the position for which one is demanding,[5][6]
  • contain numbers (stark facts highlight one's achievements).[citation needed]

For internship[edit]

Students are often asked to submit a cover letter for an internship application. Such cover letter should include examples of extracurricular and academic experiences. Despite this specific information, cover letters for internship should have a standard business letter format.

  • Theapplication letter, which responds to a known job opening.
  • Theinquiry letter, which inquires about possible positions.

Other uses[edit]

Résumé cover letters may also serve as marketing devices for prospective job seekers. Cover letters are used in connection with many business documents such as loan applications (mortgage loan), contract drafts and proposals, and executed documents.

Cover letters may serve the purpose of trying to catch the reader's interest or persuade the reader of something, or they may simply be an inventory or summary of the documents included along with a discussion of the expected future actions the sender or recipient will take in connection with the documents.


  1. ^ a b Yate, Martin John (2004). "What Is a Cover Letter?". Cover letters that knock 'em dead (6th ed.). Avon, MA: Adams Media. pp. 1–6. ISBN 978-1-59337-107-4 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "Cover Letters". MIT Global Education & Career Development.
  3. ^ "Cover letter types and samples". Career and Professional Development. Virginia Tech, Division of Student Affairs.
  4. ^ "Writing Cover Letters". The Writing Center. Retrieved 2020-01-01.
  5. ^ "Writing Cover Letters". The Writing Center. Retrieved 2020-01-01.
  6. ^ RICHARD, H. BEATTY (2004). THE PERFECTCOVER LETTER, THIRD EDITION. JOHN WILEY & SONS, INC. p. 19. ISBN 0-471-47374-X.CS1 maint: location (link)

Further reading[edit]