A cover letter is an essential part of your job search correspondence with an employer.  When mailing a resume, you should always include a cover letter explaining why you are sending the resume and expanding on your experiences from your resume.

The purpose of a Cover Letter

Cover letters should grab the reader’s attention and to generate interest in you as an applicant.  It should point the reader to your resume.  A resume briefly tells a potential employer what you have done in the past, and cites each experience or activity individually.  A cover letter, however, can elaborate on those experiences and give the employer a better idea of why you pursued them.  You can also relate how your experiences complement one another.  Some cover letters are used to apply for a particular position, while others are sent as letters of inquiry.  A well-written letter can help heighten the employer's interest in learning more about you by reading your resume and meeting you for an interview. It also gives the employer a sample of your writing skills.  Other correspondence that you might send to employers include thank you letters, withdrawal letters and an acceptance letter.  Remember, every letter you send offers an employer a sample of your writing and organizational skills.  Spend adequate time on them and critique them carefully.

Below are some documents that can help you get started

Getting Started on your Cover Letter

Cover Letter Format or Cover Letter Template

Sample Cover Letter

Cover Letter Tips

Other Sample Correspondence