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Effective Letter Writing

Effective letter writing

Writing a cover letter for a position can be an effective way to connect your experiences, skills, and values to the employer. Compose letters that reflect your personality, your interests in the position and/or the employer, and the shared values that you have with the company. An important goal for the cover letter is to establish a connection between you and the employer, as well as outlining your potential contributions to the company/organization/institution.

Establishing a connection between you and the employer or role will require you to tailor the cover letter, which does take time. Some ways to save time is to write a cover letter template for specific types of positions. For instance, a data scientist cover letter, a business analyst cover letter, a program coordinator cover letter, etc. For those special positions, you can take more time to tailor the letter to the specific employer. For Co-op applications specifically, the cover letter is optional, unless noted otherwise, so you may want to focus on writing cover letters for those positions that are important to you.

If you are a co-op student applying to jobs on WaterlooWorks, address the recipient of the letter with “Dear Recruiter” or “Dear Hiring Manager.” If you are not in co-op and know the name of the Hiring Manager, you may address the letter to the Hiring Manager using their full name such as “Dear Bel Kim.” Otherwise, you can default to “Dear Recruiter” or “Dear Hiring Manager.”

University of Waterloo

Centre for Career Development