Site Announcement

Regular Hours, Summer 2024

Summer Hours: May 13 - July 26, 2024: Monday - Thursday 8:00am - 4:30pm, Friday 8:00am - 12:00pm

Cover Letter Tips

The cover letter is sometimes overlooked yet it is a very important part of your first contact with a potential employer.

In today’s competitive market, many employers have mentioned that they find a well-written cover letter to be more important to granting an interview than the resume.

It is important to spend time creating a cover letter that is impressive and displays your letter writing skills.


Your cover letter should be designed specifically for each company you are writing to and customized for each position you seek. It should follow this outline:

Opening paragraph

  • Express your interest the position.
  • Tell where you heard about the organization or position.
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of the organization or field.


  • Highlight a few major points of your background in relation to the job.
  • Illustrate how your qualifications meet the organization’s needs.


  • Summarize how you fit the organization.
  • Request action. Ask for an interview.
  • Suggest a date that you will call or email to follow up. Make sure to follow up during that period.


  • Do not send a generic cover letter. Personalize each letter and show quality. Show the employer you have done research on the company.

  • Employers may have to read through hundreds of cover letters and do not want to read a long letter. Keep it three or four paragraphs and to the point.

  • Make sure your letter has no grammar or spelling errors. Employers often mention that these avoidable errors create a poor first impression.

  • Address your letter to a specific person, even if it means calling the organization to get that information.

  • Avoid opening phrases, such as “To whom it may concern,” “Dear Gentlemen,” or “Dear Sirs,”.

  • Avoid being overly funny or aggressive.

  • Keep a copy of all your cover letters with the job description for future reference.

Contact Information

Career Advising

Danielle Jennings
319-296-4014 ext.1079
Bremer Hall 126D
Email Danielle Jennings
Schedule an appointment with Danielle Jennings

Regular Hours — Summer 2024

May 13 – July 26, 2024
Monday – Thursday 8:00am – 4:30pm
Friday 8:00am – 12:00pm

If campus is closed, Career Advising is also closed. This includes weather related closings. See scheduled college closings.

Regular Hours — Fall 2024

July 29 – December 20, 2024
Monday – Friday 8:00am – 4:30pm
Back to top