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Cover Letters

What is the purpose of a cover letter?

Cover letters are an integral part of your written presentations to potential employers, whether mailed, emailed, or delivered electronically. They are designed to:

  • Complete your written presentation.

  • Invite the reader to further investigate your skills, interests and experience detailed on your resume.

  • Demonstrate your writing skills.

  • Set you apart.

Your resume should always be accompanied by a cover letter. This letter should be specific to the job skills and company - it should not be a form letter.

The body of the cover letter should include:

  • An opening statement identifying how you learned of the position. Mention the posting on their website or if you learned about the position through networking, mention the person's name.

  • In the first paragraph, talk about why you are interested in the company (use the internet to research).

  • In the second paragraph, highlight a few of your unique skills and specific accomplishments that relate to the company's needs and the specifics of the job.

  • Close with a definitive statement: "I am very interested in meeting with you. I can be reached at ____ ."

How do I distinguish my cover letter?

  • Address the letter to an individual whenever possible. This may take some research, but if addressed to a specific person it is likely to get more attention. If you cannot identify the person to whom the letter should be written, use a functional title of someone in authority. For example: Dear Human Resources Manager, Marketing Director or Finance Director. The salutation "Dear Sir or Madam" is not appropriate use.

  • Make a statement that impresses you about the company or the position advertised.

  • Convey enthusiasm and commitment.

  • Identify unique skills and experience that will set you apart and show the value you will bring to the position.

  • Be brief, concise and focused. Limit your cover letter to one page, 3 paragraphs long.

  • Tell them what you want.

  • Use the same paper and font that matches your resume.

  • Include your name, address, phone number and signature.

  • Resume File Name - recruiters prefer: LastnameFirstnameYearResume.doc

  • Never send your resume as "resume.doc". If a recruiter downloads ten emails, and half of the candidates use "resume.doc"... your resume is lost.

  • Make sure your "Subject Line" signals that this is not a spam message.

Download Cover Letter Templates and Examples

Cover Letter Template

Example Cover Letter

Example Cover Letter2

Example Email Cover Letter

Example Email Cover Letter2