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Writing the Cover Letter



The cover letter should be used as an introduction to a potential employer. A cover letter should emphasize your special skills, experiences and accomplishments. A cover letter may be used to augment or add to those skills and professional experiences that are already outlined in the resume. Other notable skills and expertise that are not specifically detailed in the resume could be mentioned in the cover letter as well.

A cover letter serves the purpose of making a more personal presentation of you to a perspective employer.

A good cover letter should be no more than a page long and should eloquently state your case about why you are the best candidate for the job. While you may have all the requirements to fill a particular position, your cover letter is a failure if the prospective employer does not come to the conclusion that you are the perfect candidate. Write a strong cover letter so that your resume ends up in the "consider file" NOT the "reject file" and this can take less than thirty seconds!

Write a resume cover letter.

Who needs to write a resume cover letter?

Everyone who sends out a resume does! Recruiters and hiring managers often use cover letters as a way to determine their interest in a candidate. If you are sending your resume to a prospective employer, you need to include a separate one-page cover letter. Write a resume cover letter that is tailored to each specific company. Write a resume cover letter and it gives you another chance to emphasize what you have to contribute to the company or organization. Your resume will also answer that question but in a somewhat more rigid format

Write a resume cover letter that:
indicates your interest in a particular company or position,
summarizes the most important aspects of your education and experience,
contact information for the prospective interview is supplied.

To write a resume cover letter - pay attention to the following criteria:
Not even one spelling or typing error when you write a resume cover letter
Write a resume cover letter and address it to the appropriate person making the hiring decision. Be sure the name is spelled correctly and the title is correct. A touch of formality is good too: address the person as "Mr.," "Ms.," "Mrs.," "Miss," "Dr.," or "Professor."
Write a resume cover letter in your own words do not plagiarize. Employers are looking for knowledge, enthusiasm, focus.
Being "natural" makes many people nervous when they write a resume cover letter. And then even more nervous because they are trying to avoid spelling errors and grammatical mistakes.
When you write a resume cover letter - research the industry and especially the company. You know who they are, understand what they do and they are your choice!
Use terms and phrases when you write a resume cover letter that are meaningful to the employer. If you are applying for an advertised position, use the requirements in the ad and put them in BOLD type. For example: the ad says - "2 years' experience processing magnetic media (cartridge, tape, disc); interface with benefit plan design, contracts and claims; and business background with strong analytical & technical skills--dBase, Excel, R&R, SQL."

Make sure when you write a resume cover letter that it contains each of these requirements.

When should you take the time to send correspondence through the regular mail?

A cover letter has 3 purposes:

1. It formally introduces you, and can personalize the presentation of your resume

2. It highlights specific information from your resume and from your background that applies to a specific field or position. Can also give reader insight to items not addressed in a resume

3. It helps to facilitate a meeting between you and the employer

Cover letter allows you to personalize your resume when it is mailed to prospective employers in response to advertisements or to inquire about possible interviews. The cover letter's main purpose is to advertise your strengths and assets in a way that would interest employers in interviewing you. It is also useful in that it can save valuable time by enabling you to visit only the most promising prospects or helping you avoid places where there is no interest in you as a prospective employee.

To attract the reader's ATTENTION, the cover letter must look good and be easy to read. Use of quality 8 1/2" X 11" paper, correct English, spelling, spacing, paragraphing, margins and above all, flawless typing is a must. Address it to a particular person by name, making sure that the spelling and title of the individual are correct. The person addressed should hold an influential position in the company. A good cover letter is not too long, so try to limit yours to only part of a single page.

The first paragraph should arouse the reader's INTEREST. This can be done by stating some particular knowledge you have of the reader's business, by a comment on some "timely" issue relating to the company's operation or by an impersonal statement of some outstanding fact relating to your ability that would probably appeal to the employer.

The body of the cover letter should make the employer DESIRE to interview you by explaining what you can do for his/her company. Put yourself in the employer's position as you write and present facts that will both be interesting and accurately describe your assets and qualifications. Your prospective employer will be interested in your ability to make and/or save money, to conserve time, to effectively assume and discharge responsibility and to produce results more rapidly and economically than anyone else. Do not stress your bad points, such as lack of experience or unemployment.

The last paragraph should request ACTION. Ask directly for an interview stating specific times and dates when you will call to arrange an interview. In all circumstances be courteous but use a direct approach.

The letter should end with the formal salutation, "Sincerely yours." Below the salutation, type your name and then add your signature. Remember the use of AIDA (ATTENTION, INTEREST, DESIRE, ACTION) will result in a cover letter that is both pleasing to read and effective.

When sending thank-you letters.
You can write a longer letter re-emphasizing relevant points from your interview and restating your qualifications as they relate to the needs discussed during your meeting.

If you're a senior executive.
Traditional mailed correspondence is still the recommended approach for senior-level executives, excepting those in high-tech fields.

When the company and industry are low-tech.
If e-mail isn't a well-accepted mode of communication for your prospective employer, you're better off using traditional methods.

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