The Catholic University of America

Cover Letters and Professional Correspondence


Positive First and Lasting Impressions

In addition to your résumé, cover letters and other professional correspondence are your tools to make and maintain a positive impression. While résumés provide an overview of your qualifications, education, and experiences, cover letters and professional correspondence introduce you as a candidate, establish relationships, and nurture lasting relationships between you and the organization or your contact. This document contains general guidelines and sample letters and correspondences to help you make positive first and lasting impressions.

For our detailed guide to writing cover letters and other professional correspondence (along with samples), click here.

Guide Contents:

Cover Letters Page  2
   What is a Cover Letter? Page  2
       Application Letters Page  2
       Letters of Inquiry/Interest Page  2
       Personal Statements Page  2
       Writing Samples Page  2
   How to Write a Cover Letter Page  2
   Cover Letter Outline Page  3
   Sample Positon Description Page  4
   Sample Internship Cover Letter Page  5
   Sample Full-Time Position Cover Letter Page  6
   Sample Letter of Inquiry/Interest Page  7
Professional Correspondences Page   8
   Thank You Letters Page   8
   Candidacy Status Inquiry Page   9
   Accepting an Offer Page   9
Withdrawing from Consideration or
    Declining an Offer
Page 10
   Responding to Rejection Page 11
   Initial Networking Contact
     (Informational Interview Requeset)
Page 11
   Networking Follow-Up Page 12

Want Assistance with your Letters and Correspondence?

After reading through this document you feel you could use more assistance with your cover letter or other professional correspondence contact us. The Office of Career Services will assist students and alumni at any point in the writing process. You DO NOT need a complete document to come see us!

Scheduling an appointment: Career counselors are available to meet with students and alumni for cover letter and professional correspondence assistance and critiques, as well as a variety of other career development related topics. To schedule an appointment, either visit us in McMahon 102 or call (202)319-5623 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. or email us anytime at

Walk-in hours: For a quick cover letter or professional correspondence critique or question, visit us Monday-Thursday 3:30-4:15 PM in McMahon 102.


(Cover letter, letter of interest and other professional correspondence.)

  • • What Is A Cover Letter?

    Cover letters are an integral part of securing a job, internship, or other opportunity, as it is often the first contact you have with a prospective organization. Cover letters are your opportunity to provide more depth to your skills and experiences on your résumé, while also connecting those skills and experiences to the opportunity you are seeking. As such, cover letters should always be tailored to the opportunity you are seeking, to demonstrate your understanding of and enthusiasm for the specific opportunity and organization. A well-written cover letter presents you as a qualified and unique candidate for the opportunity, encouraging the reader to offer you an interview.
    For a detailed guide to writing cover letters and other professional correspondence (along with samples), click here.