Career Services 101: All About Cover Letters

Hundreds of students and alumni work with the Career Services department at Kendall College on all the aspects of searching for and landing a dream job or internship in their field, whether it is in business, culinary, baking and pastry, early childhood education or hospitality. Tackling the job search, resume updates and interview help are priorities for many students, but one task often requires a lot of time and assistance – the cover letter.

“Writing a cover letter can seem really intimidating,” says Career Services Director Kristen Hodges. “Staring at a blank page and trying to come up with a compelling letter is difficult, but we don’t want our students to feel alone. We are always here to help.”

Students at Kendall College are asked to use a checklist to evaluate their cover letter and avoid common pitfalls. For example, the checklist covers formatting, content and important details. For the full checklist and expert advice, visit the Career Services department!

  1. Is it one page only and limited to three focused paragraphs?
  2. Is the company name and address spelled correctly and complete?
  3. Have you stated why you are interested in the position and the organization?
  4. Have you told the employer what you can do for the organization rather than what it can do for you?
  5. Have you avoided re-writing your resume in your cover letter?
  6. Is the sentence structure varied? Have you limited the use of the words “I” and “My” at the beginning of each sentence?
  7. Is it neat and attractive?
  8. Is the résumé behind the cover letter and tri-folded with no staples?
  9. Is it addressed to a particular person (unless it is a response to a blind ad)?
  10. Does it close with “Sincerely,”? Anything else can be seen as too casual.
  11. Is it printed on high-quality paper that matches your resume? Is it printed on a high-quality printer?

It’s never too early to meet with Career Services to discuss steps for finding the perfect job or internship. Set up an appointment today – even if you’re not sure exactly where to start. Email or call 312.752.2012.

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