General Question

cbloom8's avatar

What should I include in my cover letter?

Asked by cbloom8 (1723points) September 7th, 2009

I’m writing a cover letter that will go with my resume to a few teachers of mine who will hopefully be writing letters of recommendation for college for me. What should I include in the letter?

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9 Answers

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Is this a letter to high school teachers for college applications, or letters to college professors for job recommendations?

gailcalled's avatar

Don’t use “hopefully” ever when you mean “I hope.’”

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Ask your teachers in person if they will agree to write a letter of recommendation for you. Popular teachers get bombarded, and it’s time-consuming to write good recommendation letters (up to one hour each), so don’t be disheartened if they say they don’t have time. Make sure you choose teachers you really know you as a student.

Your cover letter should thank them for agreeing to write a letter of recommendation, what your plans are for college, and what you got out of their class. Include a copy of your resume, addressed, STAMPED envelopes for where the letters of recommendation need to be sent (most universities will not accept them from you unlessed they are in the original sealed envelope, so it’s best to have the teacher send them to the school. You cannot make copies of the letters.)

Lightlyseared's avatar

According to the OED (the damn thing is taking up more and more space every year so I might as well get some use from it) one of the definitions of ‘hopefully’ is it is hoped so therefore I hope. Admitedly some people do object to it’s use a sentence modifier but it has been standard in both speech and writing since the 1930’s and is no different to certainly, curiously, frankly, regrettably etc.

gailcalled's avatar

(Speaking of the OED, It’s is not the same as —its. The possessive in “Its use (as) a sentence modifier ” doesn’t have the apostrophe, or does it?

I still see elegant writers and speakers differentiate between “Hopefully” and “I hope.”

I hope her nose won’t fall off face.

“Will her nose fall off her face?” the boy said hopefully. There it means “full of hope.”

Lightlyseared's avatar

so what, i got carried away with the apostrophes, i love my OED. I use most of it as coffee table

Words can have more than one meaning, particularly in English where they can have dozens much to the disgust of anyone who tries to learn it as a second language. The use of hopefully in the askers question was technically correct and jumping on every new members slight gramatical flaws is a little bit intimidating, don’t you think?

@Lightlyseared is wondering how many mistakes were made there

gailcalled's avatar

@Lightlyseared is wondering how many mistakes were made there.”

(@Lightlyseared: Since you asked… seven obvious ones, and eight, if you believe in parallel construction.)

The querent was talking about a formal cover letter in aid of helping him/her get accepted at a college or university. Many people, including me, have found it useful to understand subtleties in language; and this was not a grammatical issue but one of usage.

Informally, I agree that it is a losing battle, I agree. But still, “we few, we happy few, we band of brothers” soldier on. I am interested that you own the OED and yet consider it primarily furniture.

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