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Career Enhancement

Cover Letter/Letter of Intent

The purpose of a cover letter is to express interest to an employer in a specific role or position within the organization. It is typically accompanied by your CV or resume.  The purpose of a letter of intent is to express your interest to become a part of the company or organization even if there is no open position at that time. Both of these documents should be written by the applicant and include information a reviewer will not obtain by reading your CV or resume. These documents should complement your CV and resume and can incorporate components of your personal brand and elevator pitch.

An important aspect of cover letters and letters of intent is that they are specific to the role or organization. A helpful trick is to write your letter and then insert a different role or organization. If the letter still makes sense with another role or organization listed, then it isn't specific enough. We also recommend that you have someone else read your letter before you submit it. Our staff would be more than happy to review a letter and provide feedback that is custom to your needs. 

Resources

7 Key Elements of a Successful  Letter Cover Letter Example
Helpful Information for Letters Worksheet Letter of Intent Example
RxAshlee Blog Writing a Cover Letter  ASHP Pharmacy Residency Letter of Intent

 

If you're not sure how to start writing your letter, check out our Frequently Asked Questions below. If you seeking further assistance beyond these resources, contact Pamela Hite at phite@cop.sc.edu or schedule an appointment through https://calendly.com/phite

If you find our resources helpful or have suggestions for additional resources to include, please let us know here.

  • What actually goes into a letter?

    We are so glad you asked! Our resource, 7 Key Elements of a Successful Letter outlines the flow of each type of letter and provides formatting examples. ASHP has a helpful resource that outlines writing pearls for residency program letters of intent. Additionally, Dr. Ashlee Hayes, a pharmacist and career consultant, has written about helpful information to include in cover letters as well.

    If you are still struggling to begin your letter, please utilize our resource, Helpful Information for Letters Worksheet, or contact Pamela Hite at phite@cop.sc.edu for further assistance. 

  • What personal information should go in my letter?

    By now you probably know that each letter should be specific to the role or organization, as well as specific to you and your career. It can be overwhelming to think of all the pieces of information you may want to include. We created the Helpful Information for Letters Worksheet to help you summarize and compile information that is included in these types of letters. 

  • Who can I ask to review my letter?

    In our opinion, anyone can review your letter. It may be strategic to ask people who are practicing in the same field of pharmacy you are applying to or a boss, preceptor, professor, colleague, or mentor who knows you well to review your letter. For individuals who strongly dislike talking about themselves, asking someone who knows your previous experiences can help you highlight or elaborate upon unique opportunities.

    Regardless, we believe that a fresh set of eyes can provide great insight during the letter-writing process. We do advise that you consider limiting the amount of feedback you solicit as it can be overwhelming to incorporate and process feedback from many different sources. 

    If you would like someone in the Kennedy Center to review your letter, please email it to Pamela Hite at phite@cop.sc.edu. Additionally, letter of intent reviews are available at ACCP for national ACCP members.

  • Do I need to provide any information to people who review my letter?

    Our experience has shown us that if someone agrees to review your cover letter or letter of intent they will ask for any other materials they may find useful. It is always recommended to provide them with a timeline that includes the application deadline, when you desire to receive feedback, and your ideal submission date. 

    Additionally, if you filled out the Helpful Information for Letters Worksheet, it may be beneficial to share that document with a reviewer to see if you accurately captured your interest and career goals through your letter.

  • Do you have an example of a Cover Letter?

    Here we have provided a cover letter from a pharmacy student who applied for a pharmacy intern position. The first page provides background information about a de-identified company.

    The second page provides a de-identified cover letter that the pharmacy student sent in with their CV to the company. We included boxes to discuss the information contained in each paragraph and called attention to important details. 

  • Do you have an example of a Letter of Intent?

    Here we have provided a letter of intent from a pharmacy student who wrote to express interest in serving on a national committee for a pharmacy association. The first page provides background information about the pharmacy association, Phi Lambda Sigma, and includes additional sources of information the student used to help write this letter.

    The second page provides a de-identified letter of intent that the pharmacy student sent in with their CV to the association to express their desire to serve on any national committee for the upcoming year. We included boxes to discuss the information contained in each paragraph and called attention to important details.