Cover Letter Tips
You've put a lot of work into your resume, but without a good cover letter, it may not get to the right person. What can make a cover letter better?
1. Match the paper and font style to your resume. Address the letter to a specific individual. Call to request the name and title of the person hiring for the position. As a last resort, you may direct the letter to someone with a specific job title such as "Director of Human Resources." Don't address your letter "To Whom It May Concern."
2. Sound positive and confident in your letter and write an attention-getting introduction. Be very clear about the position you are applying for and point out how you are uniquely suited for the job by listing relevant qualities.
3. Focus on the needs of the employer and how hiring you will lead to higher production and greater efficiency. Tailor your letter around the question, "how will the employer benefit by hiring you?" Use the position announcement and company literature for clues about what to emphasize.
4. Add power by using facts, examples, or evidence. For example, the statement "can initiate and accomplish tasks with little direction" has no credibility until back-up with an example: "independently began operation of organization's Web site."
5. Paint an accurate picture of yourself. Don't exaggerate or lie.
6. Indicate a follow-up. Conclude your letter by informing the employer of your intent to contact him/her within the next few weeks and make the follow-up call once you can assume the resume has been received.
7. Make sure your letter is PERFECT-no typos, misspellings, or factual errors. Have someone proofread the letter before you send it out.
8. Don't use a sticky note as a cover letter. Watch the length of the letter. The biggest marketing mistake is trying to say too much. It should only be 3-4 paragraphs long with 4-5 sentences in each paragraph.
9. Include your phone number and e-mail address.
10. Sign your name.
11. Don't forget to enclose your resume!
SAMPLE COVER LETTER
Your Present Address
City, State, Zip Code
City, State, Zip Code
This paragraph should be brief (3-4 sentences) and to the point. Name the position you are applying for and indicate how you learned of the opening. If an article, event, or experience led you to make this contact, indicate so here. Briefly explain why you are interested in the position and what you know about the company.
The body of your letter should be one or two paragraphs. Select qualifications and skills that relate to the job. Give concise evidence of your functional skills and the qualities you possess. Include qualifications the job requires to facilitate the task of matching you to the job.
This is your closing paragraph. Be specific with your actions. Make a point to ask for an interview or indicate that you will be in touch in the near future to see if an appointment can be arranged. Thank your reader for their time and consideration.
Your typewritten name
Enclosure (Indicates your resume is in the envelope with your letter)