The Cover Letter

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cover letter & resume

What are the two documents that are the first step in applying for a professional position?

interest an employer to read your resume and invite you for an interview

What should a cover letter do?

cover letter

allows you to address a specific job…you cannot use the same letter for multiple job openings


a generic advertisement for yourself

a tool that usually provides all the information which a possible employer will use to decide whether or not you will get to go to the next step; the interview

What is the purpose of a cover letter?

-attention to detail
-communication skills
-specific interest in the company

What should the cover letter reflect?


Before you write your cover letter, you should do research to make you familiar with the company’s what?

-be addressed to the specific company and the specific individual who will oversee your application.; you can find this out be either researching it, or by phoning the company to find out who you should address the letter to
-name the position you are applying for and make specific references to the company
-express your knowledge and interest in the work the company is doing, and your qualifications for the position

What should the content of the cover letter be like?

-why you want to work at that company
-why you fit into the company
-how you qualify for the position you are applying for

What do you want the reader of your cover letter to know?

-highlight your most important and relevant accomplishments and/or skills
-point to the resume in some way
-request a specific follow-up- for example, an interview

While adjusting your letter to a specific job with a specific company, what should the cover letter do?

paragraph form with a conversational but formal tone

What format should the cover letter be written in?

-what job you are applying for and how you learned about it
-any personal contacts you have in or with the company
-your general qualifications for the job

What should paragraph #1 of the cover letter state?

be composed of one to three paragraphs that expand upon your qualifications for the position;be as specific as possible: this is your "sales pitch."

What should the body of the cover letter do?

should request an interview, or some other appropriate response; state where and when you can be reached, and express your willingness for an interview; you close the letter by thanking the reader for their time and consideration

What should the concluding paragraph of the cover letter do?

-try not to use "I" too often
-carefully check for errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling
-use 8" x 11" paper…no photocopies or hand written letters
-use the proper business correspondence format
-proofread carefully for typing errors; THIS SHOULD BE ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!
-use a one-page format with margins of at least one inch
-make sure you have SIGNED your name, and have spelled the employer’s name correctly
-address each letter to an individual
-keep a copy of everything you write

What are some tips for writing a cover letter?

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