Presentation on theme: "What’s the Point of a Cover Letter? Who can tell me what a cover letter is? How many of you enjoy writing cover letters? How many of you struggle."— Presentation transcript:
What’s the Point of a Cover Letter? Who can tell me what a cover letter is? How many of you enjoy writing cover letters? How many of you struggle writing a cover letter?
What’s the Point of a Cover Letter? To Introduce ourselves to the employer Cover letters should carry a personal message about who we are Gets you noticed Cover letters take time This makes us look like we are more dedicated to the position Conveys special information that we might not include in our resume like why we want the job Highlights accomplishments Will take out the best points from our resume so that the employer will be more inclined to read it Pulls the employer in so that they READ your resume!
Heading Cover Letter headings should follow the following format: Name Address Phone Number/E-mail Date Business Name Business Address Business Phone Number
Salutation If possible, find out the name of the person to whom you will be sending your resume. Be sure to spell his or her name correctly What strategies can we use to figure out the name If you cannot find the name, open the letter with: ATTENTION: HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT Dear Sir or Madam, Note: Avoid ‘To Whom it May Concern’ – this is very impersonal
Opening Paragraph The first paragraph should introduce your resume and/or application. Clearly state the position for which you are applying and where you heard about it. For example, you may state you are responding to an ad online, or an ad in the newspaper, or you were referred by a friend. Try to use dates and publications from the advertisements.
Highlighting Paragraph This section should answer the question “Why am I an excellent candidate for this position?” Highlight your skills and accomplishments and summarize your qualifications including relevant work experience and education You can also mention your personal skills and abilities which relate to the specific position Remember the goal of a cover letter is to get the employer to view our resume
Highlighting Paragraph 2 Once you’ve discussed your personal qualifications, it is important to tell the company why you want to work for them Show that you’ve done a little bit of research about their mission statement. Discuss what it is about the company or the position that sparks your interest. Note, here is where you should not say that you are applying because it pays well.
Request for Action At this time in your cover letter, it is important to ask the employer for something. What are your expectations when submitting your application? It is at this time you would let them know that you are looking forward to an opportunity to come in for an interview. Be sure to express again how they can contact you and what times you will be available. For example, ‘Feel free to call me to discuss this further any time after 4pm’. You don’t want to be playing phone tag with a potential employer If you are giving an employer the option to contact you by e-mail, make sure you are checking your e-mail on a regular basis
The Closing Sign the letter however you prefer. Some examples include: Yours Truly, Yours Sincerely, Sincerely Yours, Respectfully Skip a few lines and type your name, first and last If you are handing in a cover letter in person, make sure it is signed in pen, not photocopied, and that the date is updated. If you are e-mailing a cover letter, make sure your name is typed At this time, you would also state that a resume was enclosed
Steps to writing an effective cover letter The first thing that we want to do when we write a cover letter is to introduce ourselves: State the position you are applying for State your qualifications (education) State where you heard about the position
Steps to writing an effective cover letter In the body of our cover letter, we want to include why the employer should hire us This is where we can state our employment experience We can go over our keywords and why the pertain to the particular job State the skills that we have and how they are applicable to the posting Any other related experience
Steps to writing an effective cover letter Later on the in body of our cover letter, we want to state why we want to work for that particular company: This is where we would spend time researching the company What is their mission statement? Have you heard good things about the employer? Take the time to make the employer feel like are interested specifically in working for them
Steps to writing an effective cover letter When concluding your cover letter you want to Ask them to contact you at their earliest convenience Thank them for their time and consideration Offer them your phone number that you can be reached at and the times you are available
Steps to writing an effective cover letter Things to Remember Keep your letter short and to the point Check for spelling, grammatical, and typing errors. This is the first thing the employer will see. If there are any errors, they will not continue to your resume Try to use other words than ‘I’. Start your sentences with different ACTION words Make it SPECIFIC. You should be changing your cover letter for every job you apply to
More Helpful Hints: Be assertive – the first 20 words are the most important Value to employer – tell your story in relation to how you can be of value to the employer Use simple and direct language and grammar Let your letter reflect your individuality Send it to someone by name Get it right – spell recipient’s name right Be friendly, not pushy Target your letter – tell your reasons for sending the letter, for example, desiring an interview
You Should Include… Your address and the date the letter was written The name and address of the person to whom the letter is being sent A salutation (Dear ____:) A title of respect, such as Dr., Mr., or Ms. The body of the letter A complimentary close and signature Can also include reference initials, enclosure notifications (such as your resume), copy and postscript
COVER LETTER – EXERCISE Complete the cover letter outline. Create a cover letter for a General Labourer position. Be personal and genuine.