Understanding and Evaluating Associateship Opportunities
The Cover Letter

Course Author(s): David G. Dunning, MA, PhD; Robert D. Madden, DDS, MBA

The Cover Letter

A cover letter is sent along with your resume or CV, the purpose of which is to provide detailed information about your skill and experience. In short, a cover letter explains why you are qualified for the job. Employers use cover letters as a means by which to identify candidates for interviews. Generally your cover letter will be an employer’s first exposure to you as an applicant. You want to make a good first impression with your cover letter.

A typical cover letter will consist of three paragraphs.

  1. The first paragraph will focus on why you are writing and how you heard about the position. Include the name of any contact person associated with the practice. Briefly state how your skills and experience match with the company and the position.
  2. The second paragraph will explain why you are interested in the position and why you are the ideal candidate for the position. Mention the specific skills listed in the job posting and explain how you meet those qualifications and skill sets. Also, address your knowledge of the practice and how you may be of benefit to the practice as an employee. Do not simply duplicate your resume or CV. However, do offer specific examples that demonstrate your abilities.
  3. The third paragraph will be your closing. In this paragraph restate how your skills make you a perfect fit for their company. Conclude by requesting the opportunity to interview or discuss potential employment. Explain what and when you will do as a follow-up. Thank the employer for their consideration.

As with the resume and CV, proofread your cover letter. Make sure you have the correct name and spelling of the company and the person to whom the letter is being addressed. And follow the previously recommended fonts and sizes.