Steps to Cover Letter Success

A cover letter is a great way to show how your experiences, characteristics, and skills align with a job or internship opportunity. Find below the foundational elements for a successful cover letter and frequently asked questions answered by one of UGA's top employers.

Header Address

  • This is your contact information.
  • Format exactly like the heading on your resume.


  • This should be the date that you are applying/ submitting the cover letter.

Employer Address

  • Always include the person’s title (e.g., Director of Human Resources).
  • Address the recipient by their full name.
  • If you don’t have the address, look it up on the organization’s website.


  • Refer to the reader by their full name if possible, but if not, use "Dear Hiring Manager:"
  • Use a colon after the greeting, not a comma.

Opening: Why am I Writing?

  • Identify the position and the organization.
  • Indicate how you learned about the position.
  • Introduce basic information about yourself that explains why you would be the best candidate for the position.
  • Connect yourself to the organization/position in a unique way, for example, your shared values and how they fit with the organization/position.

Middle: Why Should You Hire Me?

  • Relate your skills, experiences, and qualities that would benefit you in the position.
  • Synthesize your experiences and skills; do not simply restate your resume.
  • Highlight one or two of your strongest qualifications and explain how they relate to the needs of the employer.
  • Explain why you are interested in the employer and position.
  • Demonstrate that you are a good candidate for the position based upon the job description and make another unique connection.

Conclusion: What is My Next Step?

  • Refer the reader to your enclosed resume (and other documents).
  • Reiterate your strong interest in the position/ organization with another personal connection.
  • Specify how you intend to follow up, then be sure to do so.
  • Close with the word “Sincerely.”
  • Add your virtual signature followed by your full name typed.

Cover Letter Questions Answered by an Employer

Do I always submit a cover letter with an application?

“Always be prepared to provide a cover letter and if there is an opportunity to submit one, do it! That may help your chances, especially if your cover letter provides additional information not covered on your resume for what makes you the best candidate for the position and further highlights your competitiveness for the role.”

– E. Butler, Recruiter

What are employers looking for in cover letters?

“The number one thing you want to do is be memorable. So many cover letters read like a template found on Google with a few key details changed or added. I suggest using a list (e.g. three things) that conveys why you’d be a great fit for the company/opportunity. This approach is easier for an employer to digest, and refer back to throughout the hiring process.”

- Tom Fenner, Campus Recruiter, Elliott Davis