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11 Agenda How do cover letters and resumes differ in style and content? What is involved in planning to write a cover letter? How can your cover letter.

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Presentation on theme: "11 Agenda How do cover letters and resumes differ in style and content? What is involved in planning to write a cover letter? How can your cover letter."— Presentation transcript:

1 11 Agenda How do cover letters and resumes differ in style and content? What is involved in planning to write a cover letter? How can your cover letter set you apart from all the other applicants?

2 2 What do cover letters do? ResumeCover letter Adapted to a positionAdapted to specific needs of a specific company Summarizes transferable skills Shows how transferable skills meet company needs Uses short, parallel phrases Uses sentences and paragraphs

3 33 Cover letters… Address a specific person Indicate position for which you’re applying Show what differentiates you from other applicants Demonstrate knowledge of company and position Emphasize match between you and company Ask for the interview/next step

4 44 Matching yourself to the position Know what you bring to the table  Make a list of your top 5-7 transferable skills  Come up with a specific “story” for each Know what the company needs  Analyze the job description  Make a list of required and desired skills, abilities, and characteristics

5 55 For example… What I haveWhat company needsLetter’s focus Leadership People (team) skills Communication skills Organization Ambition/drive

6 66 For example… What I haveWhat company needsLetter’s focus LeadershipAmbition/drive People (team) skillsLeadership Communication skillsAnalytical skills OrganizationPeople skills Ambition/drive

7 77 For example… Focus on 2-3 key skills in depth, rather than many superficially! What I haveWhat company needsLetter’s focus LeadershipAmbition/drive People (team) skillsLeadership Communication skillsAnalytical skillsPeople skills OrganizationPeople skills Ambition/drive

8 88 Cover letter parts Part 1  Connect with audience  Show sincere interest in company and position  State the purpose of your letter Part 2 (1 or more paragraphs)  Respond directly to the job description  Show how your specific skills will allow you to contribute  Give a few in-depth examples rather than many superficial ones Part 3  Provide next steps relevant to the situation  Give contact information  End on a positive note

9 99 Part 1 sample To whom it may concern: My name is Kathryn Adams and I am a Master of Accounting student at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. I have read your company profile in our database, and I have a strong interest in your company. I believe that working with a top company, like yours, will give me the experience I need to supplement my coursework and help me become a successful business professional upon graduation.

10 10 Part 1 revised Dear Mr. Hunt: As a Master of Accounting student at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, my goal is to work in the automotive industry. Ford’s reputation as a “Fortune Five” company would make the Finance Internship program an ideal way for me to learn about the industry, while putting my quantitative, analytical, and leadership skills to work. Please consider me for your closed interview schedule in January. State your purpose Keep the self- intro brief Use the company’s own language Personalize the letter

11 11 Part 2 sample Even though my work experience so far has been limited, I believe that I can bring a unique combination of skills to the position, and I hope that working for Ford will allow me to build on these skills and develop them even more fully so that I can grow as a leader and a professional. I am very interested in personal growth, and I have demonstrated my ability to learn and grow in every job I have held so far, whether it was as a lifeguard at summer camp or as a cashier in my parents’ ice cream store. I am also a strong leader, in my classes, in my extracurricular involvement, such as being President of the Ross finance club, which is not an office MAccs usually hold, and in my work, such as when I was a camp counselor to six girls under 12 who looked up to me as a role model. As you will see on my resume, I also have strong quantitative skills, as demonstrated by my excellent grades in demanding classes. I know that I can make an immediate difference at Ford, because I am the kind of person who always adapts to new environments.

12 12 Part 2: starting to revise Even though my work experience so far has been limited, I believe that I can bring a unique combination of skills to the position, and I hope that working for Ford will allow me to build on these skills and develop them even more fully so that I can grow as a leader and a professional. I am very interested in personal growth, and I have demonstrated my ability to learn and grow in every job I have held so far, whether it was as a lifeguard at summer camp or as a cashier in my parents’ ice cream store. I am also a strong leader, in my classes, in my extracurricular involvement, such as being President of the Ross finance club, which is not an office MAccs usually hold, and in my work, such as when I was a camp counselor to six girls under 12 who looked up to me as a role model. As you will see on my resume, I also have strong quantitative skills, as demonstrated by my excellent grades in demanding classes. I know that I can make an immediate difference at Ford, because I am the kind of person who always adapts to new environments.

13 13 Part 2: starting to revise Even though my work experience so far has been limited, I believe that I can bring a unique combination of skills to the position, and I hope that working for Ford will allow me to build on these skills and develop them even more fully so that I can grow as a leader and a professional. I am very interested in personal growth, and I have demonstrated my ability to learn and grow in every job I have held so far, whether it was as a lifeguard at summer camp or as a cashier in my parents’ ice cream store. I am also a strong leader, in my classes, in my extracurricular involvement, such as being President of the Ross finance club, which is not an office MAccs usually hold, and in my work, such as when I was a camp counselor to six girls under 12 who looked up to me as a role model. As you will see on my resume, I also have strong quantitative skills, as demonstrated by my excellent grades in demanding classes. I know that I can make an immediate difference at Ford, because I am the kind of person who always adapts to new environments.

14 14 Part 2: evaluating how to revise SkillCompany wants? Good example? Keep? Ability to learn & growMaybeNo Strong leaderYesHas potential Strong quant. skillsYesHas potential Adapt to new env.MaybeNo

15 15 Part 2: evaluating how to revise SkillCompany wants? Good example? Keep? Ability to learn & growMaybeNo Strong leaderYesHas potentialYes Strong quant. skillsYesHas potentialYes Adapt to new env.MaybeNo

16 16 Part 2 revised My strong quantitative skills and ability to organize my time have allowed me to earn top grades in all of my Finance and Accounting classes. Outside the classroom, I have applied these skills as a volunteer to help elderly and disadvantaged people prepare their tax returns. Putting the real-world implications of class material to work allowed me to better understand the concepts and to develop my ability to think on my feet. My leadership skills began to develop when I was a camp counselor and have grown while at Ross. Two years ago, as Senior Counselor, I helped eight 12-year-old girls bring their diverse personalities and backgrounds together to form a cohesive unit. Not only did my girls win the camp sports competition, they still keep in touch with me and each other. As the first MAcc elected as president of the Finance Club at Ross, I’ve continued to build my leadership skills. One of my first executive projects was an outreach campaign to first-year preferred admit students. Quant. skillsOrganizationCrit. thinkingLeadershipPeople/team

17 17 Part 3 sample My excitement for this position is unrivaled. I truly believe that I can make an immediate contribution as an intern and I request that you strongly consider my application. Please schedule an interview on your closed list between 8 am and 11 am, as those are the times when I will be available to meet. You may feel free to contact me by if you should have any questions in the mean time. I appreciate your attention to this matter.

18 18 Part 3 revised Please consider me for your closed interview schedule in January, so we can discuss the fit between my experiences and your needs more fully. Please contact me at if you have any additional questions. Thank you for your time and consideration.

19 19 Tips for writing a great letter Research and understand company needs (use their language in writing your letter) Frontload key information (in the letter as a whole, in paragraphs, and in sentences) Be polite and appropriately formal (not too informal, not condescending, not too academic or stuffy) Be specific (avoid “I am impressed with your company,” “I have many applicable skills,” “I believe I am the best candidate,” and other things ANYONE could write) Proofread (look for typos, grammatical errors, long sentences)

20 20 Best practices for ed cover letters Keep it brief (one screen)  Take key elements from cover letter: –Connect with reader –State purpose –Give one short example of a key skill –Thank reader and ask for next step Attach the cover letter as part of the resume file Remember s are easily forwarded – consider secondary and tertiary audiences

21 21 Communication consultants Trained in the core concepts we teach in communication Most have real-world business experience Students who utilize the office give them an average rating of 5/5 What can they can help with?  Understanding task, defining purpose, and evaluating audience  Organizing and developing content  Grammar, punctuation, style, and general English usage Evening and phone appointments available Sign up at:

22 22 Questions/work time


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