How to Write a Cover Letter

by Sarah Dwyer

If you are interested in applying to join Atlas Magazine’s staff in some way shape or form, you are going to have to write a cover letter for your application. Atlas asks you to submit us your resume and cover letter instead of submitting an application of questions and answers because this is how it will be done in the dreaded “real world.” We want Emerson students to have practice composing resumes and cover letters so that you can feel comfortable with them when you go to apply for an internship or a job. We want to help you learn what you need to know to make yourself stand out on just two pieces of paper.

We understand that composing a cover letter can we overwhelming, so instead of having you stare at a blank word document for hours, we decided to give you a few tips on how to compose your cover letter  to get you started off on the right foot on your professional journey.

Getting Started

  1. Research the organization/publication that you are applying to
  2. Find the correct contact to send your application to (A great place to look for this in a publication is the masthead, the list of the publications staff. For example, for Atlas, click the “Meet the Staff” tab at the top of our page and see what who is the editor for the section you are interested in).
  3. Read the application and the organization’s mission statement and write down qualities that you have that relate to what they are looking for

Contents of a Cover Letter


Address your cover letter to the contact you found before formally (ex. Dear Mr. Jones)

Introductory Paragraph

Use this paragraph to state what position you are applying for and briefly state why you are interested in this position. An interesting anecdote about what draws you to the organization will help you stand out.

Body Paragraph

This will be the largest paragraph in your cover letter (around 6-8 sentences). Use this paragraph to go into further detail about your experience listed on your resume and relate those experiences to what the organization is looking for. If you have an interesting hobby that illustrates qualities they are looking for, include it here. Don’t forget to mention some of the words you jotted down from their application description and/or mission statement, this will help them see that you are interested in what they do and took the time to learn more about them.

Closing Paragraph

Sum up the qualities that you listed above and thank the reader for their time and consideration. If necessary, include information about how you will follow-up with them.

Complimentary close and Signature

Use an ending such as “Sincerely” or “Respectfully yours” and include your signature. If the application is sent through e-mail, typing your name is fine.

If you have any questions comment below or e-mail us at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s