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
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
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
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
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
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
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.