2 Purpose of cover letters Explains why you are sending your resumeTells how you learned about the position or organizationConvinces the reader to look at your resumeCalls attention to aspects of your background
3 More purposes… Reflects your attitude Provides specifically requested informationIndicates what you will do to follow upWriting sample
4 Parts There are three basic parts to a cover letter: An introduction - a statement of who you are and why you are sending the letterA sales pitch - an overview of your qualifications, skills, abilities, and accomplishmentsA call to action - a request for a specific action such as an interviewIdeally, you will cover these three basic parts in just concise paragraphs typed on one page. The following is an outline of how the "typical" cover letter content is organized.
5 First Paragraph Introduction statement of who you are and why you are sending the letterImmediately state the position you are interested in and the reason that you would be the best candidate for this position.If you are responding to an advertisement, state this.If you have been doing research into the company, this is a good place to mention it.
6 Second Paragraph A sales pitch an overview of your qualifications, skills, abilities, and accomplishmentsDiscuss your qualifications and show how the company will benefit from them.Highlight your special accomplishments. Consider using bullets to make these stand out.If you are responding to an advertisement, use this paragraph to detail how your background parallels the qualification requirements mentioned in the ad.Don't feel that you need to write a detailed synopsis of your employment history. Include just the highlights and the pertinent information.
7 Third Paragraph A call to action a request for a specific action such as an interviewMake it clear to the reader that you would like to speak to them in person.Specifically ask for an interview and make sure that you include your telephone number and any special instructions to reach you.Alternatively, write that you will follow up with a telephone call on a specific date at a specific time and then make sure that you do.
8 Step 4 ClosingThe closing of your letter should appear two lines under the body. Align this with your return address. This may be either on the right or left margin, depending on the style you chose.A simple "Sincerely," will usually be fine. Under this, apply four lines and type your name. Make certain that after the letter is printed, you insert your signature above this.Type an enclosure line on the left margin and several lines under your name. This may be in the form "Enclosure" or "Enc. resume".
9 Finally Whenever possible, use an envelope that matches your paper. Try to avoid using mailing labels as this makes your envelope look similar to a bulk mailing and it may not be opened.Although it is acceptable to hand address or type the envelope, some experts believe that a hand written envelope will be more likely to be noticed and opened as it resembles personal correspondence. If you have the time and are sending only a few letters at a time, you may wish to use this method, otherwise, it may be more efficient to print the envelopes using a mail merge program.
10 Common cover letter mistakes Sounds like a form letter“To whom it may concern”Not using the company’s nameToo longNot demonstrating how your background and skills are a fit for the positionUsing an inappropriate writing style
11 Correspondence Individualize Edit your writing Be yourself Grammar, spelling and punctuationBe yourselfMatching paperKeep records
12 ReferencesUsually individualsChoose carefullyALWAYS ask first
13 More on references Provide a copy of your resume Keep references informedList references on a separate page
14 7 Apple Court Eugene, OR 97401 503-555-0303 Mr. Archie Weatherby California Investments, Inc. 25 Sacramento Street San Francisco, CA 94102Dear Mr. Weatherby,My outgoing personality, my sales experience, and my recently completed education make me a strong candidate for a position as an insurance broker for California Investments, Inc.I recently graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in marketing, where I was president of both the Future Business Leaders of America and the American Marketing Association.Although a recent graduate, I am not a typical new graduate. I attended school in Michigan, Arizona, and Oregon. And I've put myself through these schools by working such jobs as radio advertising sales, newspaper subscription sales, and bartending, all of which enhanced my formal education.I have the maturity, skills, and abilities to embark on a career in insurance brokering, and I'd like to do this in California, my home state.I will be in California at the end of this month, and I'd like very much to talk with you concerning a position at California Investments. I will follow up this letter with a phone call to see if I can arrange a time to meet with you.Thank you for your time and consideration.Sincerely,John Oakley
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