The Cover Letter

A customized cover letter is normally used to accompany a résumé, whether by e-mail, hardcopy or fax. While your résumé is a summary of your credentials, your cover letter can be an effective marketing tool to demonstrate why your education, work experience, skills, and background uniquely qualify you for the position you’re applying for.

Address the letter to the contact person, using a standard business letter format. Use a font size of 10 to 14 points and a non-decorative typeface, with terminology and phrases that are meaningful to the employer. Minimize the use of jargon, abbreviations, and contractions and — be concise.

Subject Line: Job Title – Your Name

Be sure to list the job you are applying for in the Subject Line of your email message, so the employer is clear as to what job you are interested in.

Salutation:

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name or Dear Hiring Manager (if you don’t have a contact person)

A cover letter contains three main sections:

First Paragraph:

The first paragraph of your letter should include information on why you are writing. Mention the position you are applying for. Include the name of a mutual contact, if you have one. Be clear and concise regarding your request.

Middle Paragraphs:

The next section of your cover letter should describe what you have to offer the employer. Make strong connections between your abilities and their needs. Mention specifically how your skills and experience match the job you are applying for. Remember, you are interpreting your resume, not repeating it.

Last Paragraph:

If you have attached your resume, mention it in this paragraph. Then, conclude your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering you for the position. Include information on how you will follow-up.

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Sample e-mail Cover Letter:

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name or Dear Hiring Manager (if you don’t have a contact person):

I am writing to express my interest in the (title ) position at (Company name.) My resume is attached for your review and consideration.

I am currently employed as a (title) at XYZ Company. I am an energetic, highly-motivated self-starter with strong project management, writing and interpersonal skills.

I look forward to the opportunity to meet with you to learn more about ______. After you have had an opportunity to review my resume, please contact me if you have any questions or to arrange for an interview.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Your name
Phone: Cell (000) 000-0000
Email: Your e-mail address

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