Writing the Middle Paragraph(s)

The body of your cover letter should consist of one or two paragraphs that:

  • Relate your background and qualifications to the position without repeating verbatim the information on your resume. Instead, emphasize and expand on those parts of your resume that are most relevant, and provide specific examples of your skills and abilities.
  • Make it clear why you are interested in the position or employer. If it is not obvious from your previous experience or studies why you would be interested in the position, state explicitly why you wish to work for this employer in particular.

It’s always helpful to demonstrate that you have taken the time to research the company or organization. As appropriate, refer to informational interviews or information sessions you have attended with the company, or highlight some aspect of the company’s work that you find most interesting or relevant to your career goals.

Sample middle paragraph:

My Wellesley degree is in art history and includes significant additional coursework in American history, architecture, and American female authors. An internship this past summer with Historic New England allowed me to learn about and assist in the range of activities associated with managing historic sites, including developing interactive tours, digitizing photographs and documents, and conducting research for fundraising. In my internship at the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College, I developed focus group questions and conducted student focus groups to improve the design of the museum’s website. Through other positions, I have taken on a character persona to lead tours and gained experience, making history engaging for all ages. Finally, my fluency in French and German—the languages of the two countries with which Louisa May Alcott had strong connections—will enable me to work with the original letters and documents that Orchard House possesses.