Residence Life

Division of Student Services

Your Cover Letter

A cover letter should be brief and to the point, avoiding extensive reiteration of the information already included on the resume. The letter should reflect your abilities, focus on the positive, and demonstrate an understanding of the position.  The letter should not exceed one, single-spaced typewritten page. 

The following are some guidelines to help you write your cover letter:

  • You should address your letter to Residence Life House Advisor Selection Committee

  • The first paragraph acts as an introduction.  It states your purpose in writing, identifies the position in which you are interested, and often mentions the way in which you were referred (by a friend, advertisement, Center for Life Beyond Reed, etc.) 

  • In the second and third paragraphs, you should discuss your qualifications and your interest in the position, expanding on specific and related experiences that demonstrate your strengths and/or interests. Make your knowledge and interest clear and describe specific accomplishments and experiences that relate to the position. We recommend specifically addressing the qualifications listed on the House Advisor job description.
    • Returning HAs may choose to address the followingWhat challenges did you face this year and how did you address them? What are you looking to change next year and what challenges are you looking forward to? What year(s) of students do you feel most strongly that you can support (i.e., seniors, juniors, sophomores, first-years, transfers) and how do you plan to support those that are outside of your comfort zone?

  • A concluding paragraph reiterates your interest as well as addresses any logistical concerns (i.e. intent to study abroad, being out of town or unavailable during an interview, etc.).

  • Ask someone to read and review the letter -- even better, several people. Consider consulting Center for Life Beyond Reed.

Contact Res Life
Fax: 503/517-7691
Office: 28 West,
5436 SE 28th Ave.

Amy Schuckman
Assistant Dean

Clea Taylor
Assistant Director of Housing Operations

Julia Nicholson
Assistant Director of Training & Education


8:30 AM–5 PM;
closed noon–1 PM

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