Presentation on theme: "Grimsby Secondary School"— Presentation transcript:
1 Grimsby Secondary School Cover LettersGrimsby Secondary School
2 What Is a Cover Letter?A cover letter expresses your interest in and qualifications for a position to a prospective employer.
3 What Should My Cover Letter Accomplish? Your cover letter should introduce the main points of your resume.It should also help you to “sell” your qualifications to the co-op employer.Keep your letter brief, no more than one page.
4 Format Use full-block personal business letter style. Place your address at the top of the letter.Your Address City, Province Postal Code Date Mr. Peter Parker Manager Casablanca Winery Inn Grimsby, ON L3M 4E8 Dear Mr. Parker: Opening Paragraph
5 Address Mr. Peter Parker Manager Casablanca Inn 4 Winward Dr. Grimsby, ONL3M 4E8Dear Mr. Parker:Address your letter to a specific person, ideally to the person who will interview you.Look for the person’s name in company publications, or phone the organization and ask for the person’s name or for the personnel manager.
6 Introductory Paragraph Your first paragraph should:Open with a strong sentence that will capture the employer’s interestMake your goal clear to the reader.Preview the rest of your letter. Highlight the qualifications you will discuss throughout the letter.
7 Goals of the Body Paragraphs Explain why you are interested in working for this employer and demonstrate that you know something about the organization.Highlight your strongest qualifications for the position for which you are applying.Demonstrate how these qualifications will benefit the employer.Refer employers to your enclosed resume.
8 Detailing Your Experience Show (don’t tell) employers your qualificationsInclude specific, credible examples of your qualifications for the position.Use numbers, names of equipment you've used, or features of a project that may apply to the job you want.For example, I have studied English, French, business, math and accounting courses in school. These courses have helped me to understand basic business concepts. Also, I have worked part time at Wendy’s Restaurant for two years. I understand the importance of accuracy, communication and initiative in the workplace.Key Concept: Writers should not simply restate descriptions from their resume in discussing specific experiences. They should be anecdotal instead, helping the employer to picture the writer working on the job.
9 Using Active Language—Don’ts Don’t be vague in your descriptions.Don’t use weak verbs such as endeavored, tried, hoped, and attempted.Don’t use sexist language such as chairman and manpower.Vague: I worked as a clerk at Giant Tiger Weak: I attempted to attract customers.Key Concept: The facilitator should stress that writers want their readers to get a clear sense of what they have done and are capable of doing from their cover letters. The writer’s language should help, and not hinder, the employer’s understanding. Using language that is unprofessional, offensive, or vague creates obstacles in the reader’s understanding and therefore considerably weakens the cover letter and the writer’s chances of success.Click mouse to reveal each example.
10 Using Active Language—Do’s Use concrete words to describe your experience.Use present tense to discuss current activities and past tense for previous job duties or accomplishments.Be as specific as possible in descriptions; list dollar amounts and figures when you can.Vague: I worked as a clerk at Giant Tiger. Specific: As a clerk, I assisted in serving customers, stocking shelves and conducting the monthly inventory review. Weak: I attempted to attract customers. Strong: I initiated a program to attract customers to Pizza Pizza, which resulted in a 5% increase in sales for the month of June.Examples: The facilitator might point out that when the vague and weak sentences are rewritten, they become much longer. This is due to the additional information added to convey meaning more clearly. If applicants find themselves writing very short sentences throughout the letter, it may be one sign that they are not including enough detail.Click mouse to reveal each example.
11 Organizing Your Letter In general, cover letters should be no longer than one typed page.Organize your body paragraphs to emphasize your strongest and most relevant qualifications. Only include the two or three strongest qualifications from your resume.Make it easy for readers to scan your letter by beginning each paragraph with a topic sentence.Key Concept: Writers should consider the needs of their audience as they organize the information in their cover letter. Prospective employers will most likely scan the cover letter before they read it to decide whether to read or discard it. Therefore, writers should make the cover letter easy to scan by including only their most relevant qualifications and by devoting a short paragraph to each of these qualifications.
12 Concluding Your Letter I would welcome the opportunity to discuss these and other qualifications with you. If you are interested, please contact me at (905) any morning before 11:00 a.m., or feel free to leave a message.Conclude by asking for a personal interview.Be flexible regarding a date and time for the interview.Be specific about how the interviewer should contact you.Include a thank you.Key Concept: The facilitator should stress the importance of politely asking for an interview in the conclusion of the letter. Writers should not assume that because they are writing a cover letter it is obvious and doesn’t need saying that they want an interview. Writers should also give specific instructions on how to be contacted. For those in transition, it is a good idea to include a phone number they will always have access to or where someone will always know how to reach them.
13 Key Points to RememberAppeal to company values, attitudes, goals, projects, etc.Elaborate on the information in your resume.Provide evidence of your qualifications.Proofread carefully for grammatical and typographical errors. The letter should be error-free.
14 249 Salem Road Grimsby, Ontario L3M 4K3 February 11, 2009 Ms 249 Salem Road Grimsby, Ontario L3M 4K3 February 11, 2009 Ms. Mary Dheer, Manager Kennedy Associates Corporation 3456 Main Street East Grimsby, ON L3M 1H6 Dear Ms. Dheer: Please accept this letter as application for the Co-operative education position of Sales Associate with Kennedy Associates Corporation. Co-operative Education will help me to decide what type of career I wish to pursue in the future. My past and present educational experience here at Grimsby Secondary School supports my co-op placement application at Kennedy Associates Corporation. For example, I have studied English, French, business, math and accounting courses in school. These courses have helped me to understand basic business concepts. Also, I have worked part time at Wendy’s Restaurant for two years. I understand the importance of accuracy, communication and initiative in the workplace. Overall, my educational and employment experiences will make me a suitable candidate for this Co-operative Education position. Please contact me at (905) at your earliest convenience for an interview. Sincerely, Steven Clarke (905) Enclosure: Resume
15 Where can you go to find extra help with your cover letter? Cover Letter Information posted in Cooperative Education webpage.Cover Letter Information posted in the classroom.Internet resources.