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Students - Career Services

Cover Letter Guidance & Assistance


Career Services
Student Success Center
Upper Jewell Bldg #3344


KCKCC Career Services offers one-on-one guidance and assistance creating, updating, or revising cover letters to go with your resume. Resume and cover letter workshops are also available throughout the semester. Our resume and cover letter guide is also available in Handshake - in the app, go to Account → Career Center → Resources. If you already have a rough draft of a cover letter and resume, feel free to email it to us at for help with updates/revisions.

Cover letters are your chance to explain in writing why you are a good fit for a position. They serve as a sample of your writing skills, help you highlight your skills and abilities that best match the job to which you are applying, and can help increase your chances of being interviewed.


  • Start with the same name/contact information from your resume, so the documents look like a matching set
  • Address it to a specific person whenever possible – otherwise, address it to Human Resources or the hiring manager
  • Formal letter – use colon after greeting, end with a closing and signature line (do not need to sign if sending electronically)
  • Be concise – should never go over one page!
  • Proofread! Double check that you have the correct employer information, and have at least one other person proofread for you.
  • Save as a PDF before sending/uploading
  • Tailor it to fit each position you apply for. It will probably be mostly the same for similar types of positions, with minor updates needed.



Use same heading for resume, cover letter, and references page to maintain consistency.

Complete Title and Address of Employer


Whenever possible, address specific person who will be reviewing your application by name.

Opening Paragraph

This is where you write what position you are applying for, how you heard about it, and that you have included your resume, filled out online applications, or completed other application instructions. If you were referred by someone in the company, this is the place to say it. You will also add in a sentence that summarizes why you are a great fit for the position, and perhaps a sentence that praises their organization or tells why you want to join their team.  

Middle Paragraph(s)

The second paragraph is where you go into more detail about why you make a good candidate. This is where you “sell” yourself to the employer. The areas to focus on are your education/training, your professional experience, skills, and other professional qualities or abilities that will make you a good fit for the position. It doesn't have to be every detail of your school and work history - just enough so they want to meet you for an interview. Refer to the job description to make sure that what you are talking about matches up well with what they are looking for and use keywords when possible.

If your education and experience turn into a long paragraph, you may consider using an extra paragraph to discuss professional qualities and skills such as teamwork, effective communication, time management, leadership, or other things that will help you excel in the new role. This is also good if you have additional experience from athletics, community organizations, etc. that doesn't seem to fit well with your work experience. Try to end your "selling" paragraph(s) with a sentence that ties it all together again - similar to your summary statement in the first paragraph.

Closing Paragraph

The third paragraph is where you ask for an interview. Ask them to contact you, offer to provide additional information, and thank them for their time.  Your contact information should be at the top of the page, so you don’t need to list it here again.


  • Closing: Sincerely, Regards,  Best, Best regard or Kind regards; etc.
  • Followed by your name - don't need to actually sign it if uploading or emailing it

Things to Avoid

  • Drawing attention to lack of experience/skills – keep it positive and energetic, focus on why you will be a great fit
  • Copying your resume – summarize your skills and experience, and tie in your professional strengths that may be difficult to add to a resume, such as your passion for the industry, dedication to a company, ability to learn quickly, or other strengths
  • Talking about things that are not on your resume or related to the position
  • A Cover Letter that is longer than one page - keep it concise

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