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Basics of Cover Letter Writing Department of Career Services.

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Presentation on theme: "Basics of Cover Letter Writing Department of Career Services."— Presentation transcript:

1 Basics of Cover Letter Writing Department of Career Services

2 Overview What is a cover letter and its purpose What is AIDA? Who reads the letter ◦ “The Gatekeepers”  How to get past them Hands-On Exercises

3 Purpose of the Cover Letter A cover letter typically accompanies each resume you send out. Its purpose: ◦ Is to interpret the data-oriented, factual resume and add a personal touch. ◦ A cover letter should complement, not duplicate, your resume. ◦ It creates a critical first impression.

4 The Gatekeepers Who are the “Gatekeepers?” ◦ They are the assistants or Human Resource people who screen the resume’s  They scan the resume for “key words”  The words are those that were in the original job posting ◦ It is their job to weed out those whose resumes and cover letters do not match the job posting

5 What is AIDA? It is the magic formula used by professional writing firms ◦ Attention ◦ Interest ◦ Desire ◦ Action

6 Attention In the first paragraph you need to grab the attention of the HR person. ◦ Tell them why you are writing ◦ Give good reasons for writing them Examples: ◦ “I would like to apply for _____ position I saw advertised on your site.” ◦ “I was referred to your company by _____ concerning the position of _______.”

7 Interest In the second paragraph you need to rouse their interest. ◦ Tell them what makes you the perfect fit ◦ Use (key) words from the job posting within paragraph. Examples: ◦ I have ___ years experience as a …” ◦ I just graduated with my MBA degree…” ◦ I worked on (project title) at (company name)…

8 Desire If responding to a posting, be sure to refer to the requirements listed in your letter. ◦ Create the desire by offering Three Solid accomplishments. Examples: ◦ I am very familiar with … ◦ I know how to use… ◦ I also have experience with…

9 Action Ask the HR person for an interview. Adapt one of the following that works best for you. ◦ “I would like to interview for the _____ position. I can be reached at (XXX) XXX- XXXX.” ◦ “I would welcome the opportunity to discuss the position with you in person. I can be reached either by phone at (XXX) XXX- XXXX, or by email at”

10 Hands-on Exercise You will now write draft cover letters ◦ Use the information reviewed in presentation When finished bring to me for critique and evaluation.

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