The purpose of this task is for students to practice the professional skill of writing a cover letter to share with an employer when applying for a job.Student may use the cover letter for an actual job they are applying for or practice the skill of writing a cover letter for a fictitious job application.
Your task is to write a cover letter that you could use when applying for a job. This cover letter should reflect an understanding of the job you want to apply for, and should briefly demonstrate why you should be considered as a worthy candidate for this job. Cover letters allow you to provide specific examples and details about you that an employer might not realize simply by reviewing your resume and job application.
Before you complete this task, you should be aware of the purpose of cover letters and the characteristics of highly effective cover letters. If you have notes or handouts from any of the lessons below, these will help you complete the task:
- “Comparing Cover Letters and Resumes”
- “Evaluating Cover Letters”
If you have not already done so, review the attached rubric and become familiar with the characteristics of a cover letter that will help you stand out to potential employers. This is the rubric that will be used to evaluate the cover letter you write for this task. Read over the “Proficient” and “Advanced” columns for each of the following areas:
With your partner discuss the following questions:
- What are some of the major differences between a cover letter that is emerging/developing and one that is proficient/advanced?
- What is the difference between the section related to “format” and the section related to “content”?
For this task you have a choice to write a cover letter for an actual job or internship you want to apply for, or to practice the skills of writing a cover letter for a job posting from 2011. Choose one of the options below to complete your task:
Option 1: Practice writing a cover letter to Museum Tour Catalog and Online Store
- Review the attached job posting - Look for key details in the posting that will help you determine draft a cover letter specific to the job available.
Option 2: Write a cover letter to an actual job or internship you want to apply for
- Download or take a screenshot of the job/internship posting. Or, copy a link to an online job posting and embed it in your cover letter. You will need to submit this with your cover letter to assess the appropriateness of your letter for this particular job.
After you have decided which option you will chose above, it is time to write a draft of your cover letter following the expectations below::
- Using a word processing program on a computer type your cover letter. If helpful, ask your teacher for a template that you can fill in, so that you don’t have to spend too much time with formatting for your first draft.
- When you have finished typing your cover letter, review it for errors (including spell and grammar checks), and compare it to the rubric. Do you feel that you’ve done your best job of aligning it to the rubric criteria? If so, you’re ready to submit your cover letter!
Unit Culminating Task Prerequisites
The following lessons will help students understand the purpose and characteristics of highly effective cover letters: “Comparing Cover Letters and Resumes;” and “Evaluating Cover Letters.” Other lessons will help students learn about the job application process: “Job Advertisement Terminology;” and “Introduction to Job Applications Activity.”
Remind students to use extracurricular activities, internship and/or volunteer experiences (if any) and the Career Academy Skills for Success as prompts for the letter. Most of the files attached for this task come from preceding lessons, but may be helpful for students to have in front of them as they begin writing.
This activity helps students make connections between a want ad and the information provided in a job application.
This activity introduces students to the purpose of a cover letter and how it differs from a resume and a job application.
This activity introduces students to the characteristics of highly effective cover letters.