How to draft a cover letter

Cover Letter:

When applying for internships as well as attaching your resume they might ask for you to write a cover letter. Here are some tips to guide your cover letter writing process:

Cover Letter Tips

♦ Keep it a single page.

→If your cover letter is lengthy, it indicates your rambling, and imprecise. Make sure to keep it neat and organized. Make it easy to read.

♦ Don’t use words/sentences such as:

→Avoid Using “To Whom It May Concern” and “Dear Sir or Madam”

  • Find out the hiring manager’s name. If you are unable to find it, try contacting the company to get the name. (This shows that you’re  interested in the company) 

Don’t write “I’m writing to apply for [Position Name]

  • Try to be interesting and get the attention of the hiring manager. You can start the sentence with “I’m excited to be applying for [ Position name]”

♦Expand the resume but don’t repeat it. 

→Mention your skills, past experience (i.e academic or work), and accomplishments. Make sure to mention how your experience is relevant to the company. Also, mention the reason why they should hire you. 

♦Be clear about your purpose and make sure to showcase the important skills.

♦Try to customize your cover letter for specific jobs. Be professional and mature.


Cover Letter Layout

Header – Input contact information

Date- Write the date you are writing the letter

Company Contact Info– Input hiring managers name & title ( if known) , company name & address

Greeting the hiring manager

Opening paragraph – Grab the reader’s attention with 2-3 of your top achievements & make sure to introduce yourself (i.e. your class level & your major)

Second paragraph – Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the job

Third paragraph – Explain why you’re a good match for the company

Formal closing- Thank the reader for his/her consideration & reiterate your contact information

Sign your name


-Make sure to add your professional Email

Don’t forget to hyperlink it

Link your Linkedin profile.

-Optimize your LinkedIn profile

Add your phone number

– Make it easier for them to contact you

Add any other relevant links

-Link any social profiles, personal websites, blogs, etc.


Copy of Cover Letter Template


Reference/ Links:

  1.     ∗ – quick tips on writing a cover letter
  2. – guidelines on writing a cover letter 
  3. – in-depth explanations on how to write a cover letter
  4. – 10 in-depth cover letter writing tips
  5. – 6 tips on writing a cover letter & 3 cover letter templates
  6. – how to write a cover letter that stands out
  7. – tips on writing a cover letter & examples
  8. – pages 27-33 you’ll find numerous examples of sample cover letters
  9. – in-depth explanation of what exactly is a cover letter & how to write one.
  10. – go here to find out how to organize their cover letters & what information to include in each section.

    Videos on Cover Letter Writing

(Note: this video is from the perspective of an actual college student give tips on how to create a substantive cover letter)

(Note: this is a short video informing viewers how to write a cover letter with an example of a cover letter included )


How to get a faculty recommendation letter?

For certain internships, they might ask for you to provide at least 2 faculty recommendation letters ( these are very common when applying to CUNY-based internships ). Here are some tips to gain those letters or references. When finding a professor to ask, think about a professor that has gotten to know you and the work that you produce. This is why it is always important to participate in a specific class and do well in the class to be remembered by professors. Remember to have in mind more than the expected number of professor recommendations just in case a professor declines your request or one does not get back to you in the allotted time.

Once you have found the professor you are going to email, remember to keep in mind:

  • Create a direct subject line 
  • Remind them who you are
  • Make sure to greet them in the email
  • Keep in mind the tone that you’re using
  • Be specific about the internship/ job that you’re applying to
  • Keep it short but concise 
  • Give them a deadline & make sure to follow up before it 
  • Remember to thank them

Sample emails to write to a professor for an internship can be found on the source article’s websites.

Source Articles:

Note: Tips from an actual college student on how to email a professor for a recommendation letter for an internship/job