Podcast: Helpful Hints for Creating Readable, Engaging Cover Letters

Cover letters tell a story, weaving the facts into a cohesive, compelling, unique picture of the applicant.

Listen to the full audio recording here

Cover letter organization

  1. It should be:
    1. Easy to read.
    2. Appealing to the reader.
    3. A piece of advocacy on your own behalf.
  2. It should include:
    1. Why you want to come to this firm/legal employer.
    2. Why you are interested in this city.
    3. Why you are in law school.
    4. What unique things you bring to the employer.
    5. How have you grown over the course of your academic career.
    6. When there are extenuating circumstances, explain them.
    7. What skills and abilities you have that are not obvious from your resume.
  3. The cover letter should illuminate the facts that are laid out in the resume, answer questions and tell a good story.

Cover letter layout

  1. Include return address information and contact information.
  2. Use a standard business letter format.
  3. Utilize the same paper, similar formatting, font and font size as you used on your resume.

Cover letter and resume

  1. Your resume and cover letter are a matched set.
  2. Proofread: no typos or grammatical errors.
  3. Customize your letter for each employer; do not use a generic cover letter.
  4. Close your letter with something positive about the "perfect fit" between you and the employer and the potential for a face-to-face interview in the near future.

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