Covering Letter Tips

Effective cover letters explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identify your most relevant skills or experiences (remember, relevance is determined by the employer's self-interest). They should express a high level of interest and knowledge about the position.

If a resume is your advertisement or showcase, then a cover letter can be considered the greeting, introductory wave, or handshake that gets you in the door or opens a conversation. A cover letter sets the tone of your resume.  It gives your resume the color & excitement that is distinctly you!

When you accompany a resume with a cover letter, you provide a better picture of yourself. A cover letter can be used to clearly state your reasons for submitting a resume and why you should shine over every other candidate/individual.

A cover letter should complement, not duplicate, your resume. Its purpose is to interpret the data-oriented, factual resume and add a personal touch. A cover letter is often your earliest written contact with a potential employer, creating a critical first impression.

There are three general types of cover letters:
·         The application letter which responds to a known job opening.
·         The prospecting letter which inquires about possible positions.
·         The networking letter which requests information and assistance in your job search.

Your cover letter should be designed specifically for each purpose outlined above as well as for each position you seek. Do not design a form letter and send it to every potential employer.

The body of your cover letter lets the employer know what position you are applying for, why the employer should select you for an interview, and how you will follow-up.

First Paragraph 
The first paragraph of your letter should include information on why you are writing. Mention the position you are applying for and where you found the job listing. Include the name of a mutual contact, if you have one.

Middle Paragraph(s)
The next section of your cover letter should describe what you have to offer the employer. Mention specifically how your qualifications match the job you are applying for. Remember, you are interpreting your resume, not repeating it.

Final Paragraph 
Conclude your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering you for the position. Include information on how you will follow-up.

Complimentary Close

Signature (Handwritten Signature)


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