Writing a Cover Letter
Why do I need to write a cover letter?
Companies expect cover letters. The cover letter is a marketing tool and is your first opportunity to capture the interest of a potential employer. Do not write a general cover letter for all jobs-the cover letter is specific and needs to be aimed toward one job.
Many companies today have their applicants complete online applications and may not require a cover letter. However, given the opportunity, applicants should always include an accompanying cover letter whether applying via email or US mail. It is not necessary to bring a cover letter with you when attending job fairs or during an interview.
What do I include in a cover letter?
Identify why you are writing to the company and name the specific position if you are able. Identify how you found out about the position. Did you see a specific job advertisement? Did you meet a company representative who asked you to apply? Make a connection with the reader from the beginning!
Next, you have the opportunity to match the individual skills you possess with the needs of the position and company. An individual may read your resume, but this gives you the chance to focus on one or two skills that will really matter to the company. When matching your skills and their needs, it is helpful to do research on the company, their industry, and the position. Your ability to connect the mission of the company with what you have to offer will capture and keep their attention. Be sure to convey your enthusiasm and energy to the reader and also refer them to your resume for more information.
Close your letter by reiterating your strong interest in the position. State how you intend to follow up and thank the employer for his/her consideration and interest.
- Write all cover letters in paragraph form
- Proofread for typos and grammar errors
- Try to address your letter to a specific individual if possible
- Communicate in a clear, logical, and concise way
- Be positive and convey your energy to the employer
For more information or help in writing your cover letter, please contact Mrs. Pam Steele, Career Development Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org