Cover Letters

Cover Letters Matter at Emerson College

As a communications and performing arts institution, Emerson College cares deeply about effective and professional communication. A cover letter not only enhances your application to our managers, but in many instances it is the deciding factor in hiring one candidate over another.

A Cover Letter Can Demonstrate

  1. Your professionalism and written communication abilities 
  2. Your interest in the position specifically, and Emerson College generally
  3. Your personality

Cover Letter Do's

  1. Tell the story of your career: Your resume tells us a lot about the WHAT and the WHEN of your professional career, but it doesn’t tell us the WHY. Devote one paragraph of your cover letter to telling us a little story of your career. If you’re just starting out, tell us about your goals!
  2. Highlight relevant work experience: Tell us about the previous positions or specific work you’ve done that is most relevant to the job you are applying for. This helps our managers interpret longer resumes.
  3. Highlight work experience that was important to you personally: Emerson College hires passionate and mission-driven individuals. Tell us about something meaningful you accomplished in a previous position, even if it seems like only a small victory. If it mattered to you, tell us about it. We want to know what is important to you in your day-to-day work life!
  4. Demonstrate you’ve done your research: Read the job description carefully to ensure that the position and specific team match where you are in your career path. We want to see that you’ve taken the time to find a position, team, or office where you will thrive. It demonstrates that you are committed to working for Emerson College. (Tip: use some of the language from the job description in the text of your cover letter.)
  5. Tell us about “fit”: Your cover letter should show us not only what makes you a good fit for the position, but also why the position is a good fit for you, and how it can be a part of your career path. Even if your path is just starting, or if you have decided to restart your path in a new industry, we want to know.
  6. Keep it to a reasonable length: We’ve given you a lot of Do's here, for sure, but a cover letter should be able to fit on a single page. Three or four paragraphs should be enough. Our managers may have to read a lot of cover letters so making their work easier can only help you.

Cover Letter Don'ts

  1. Don’t simply restate your resume in prose form: Your resume already tells us a lot about you, and we will be reading it carefully, we promise. Use your cover letter to go outside the lines of your resume a little bit.
  2. Don’t use a “blanket” cover letter: Job hunting is time-consuming and stressful, and no manager expects a cover letter that is fully customized top-to-bottom. But please take the time to tailor your cover letter for Emerson College and for the specific job posting. Our managers take a great deal of time to be transparent about the responsibilities and skills needed to be successful in a role. We expect our applicants to take a few minutes to show us the same respect.
  3. Don’t focus too heavily on why you’re great: Your cover letter is certainly there to help you convince us to hire you, but we care as much about “fit” as accomplishments. Emerson wants capable individuals who can still check their egos and collaborate in teams. The cover letter should tell us also about how your skills and personality can contribute to the position, the team, the office, and to Emerson.
  4. Don’t lie about experience or expertise: Emerson understands that every individual is at a different place in their career. We care about “fit” and want to hire someone who is at the right place in their career path for the available position. Transparency and honesty are important in our community and your cover letter gives you a chance to demonstrate these values.
  5. Don’t forget to proofread: A sharp, tidy, well-proofread cover letter is a great way to show your professionalism and attention to detail. Double and triple-check your grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Have a friend, family member, or colleague read it over to catch small things you might have overlooked.

Don’t forget to attach your cover letter!

Many applicants forget to attach their cover letter when they apply. We want you to show off your skills, passion, and professionalism to us. Double-check your application before the final submission. It’s just one more small way to demonstrate your attention to detail.




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