Cover Letters: Selling your skills on paper. By Sharpay Huang. What is a cover letter?. A supplement to the resume that includes more detailed information about yourself Show our qualifications to a job. Expresses your interest in a position Request for an interview.
Cover Letters: Selling your skills on paper By Sharpay Huang
What is a cover letter? • A supplement to the resume that includes more detailed information about yourself • Show our qualifications to a job • Expresses your interest in a position • Request for an interview • A ‘must’ with your resume to let you stand out
A Few Things To Keep In Mind The goal is to get an interview! • Should be brief and interesting • Limit to one page, 3-4 paragraphs • Complement your resume, not repeat • Give employers reasons to hire you
Format • Font that matches your resume • Typical business formatting • Clearly visible contact information on top ---- A return address, the date, and the address of the recipient • Address the letter to a specific person at the company you are applying to
To whom do I address the letter to? Here are some ideas on how to get the name of a specific person: • Look in the job ad for the contact person. • Call the company for more information. • Research the company's website for the person in charge of the department you are applying to, or a person in Human Resources. Or to a group ( e.g. Hiring Professionals, Selection Committee)
Example of Heading and Greetings Craig M. Leroix2987 W. Taylor Dr.Portland, OR firstname.lastname@example.org February 2, 2005 Amy Kincaid, Human Resource DirectorWestern Electric, Inc.387 Collier LaneAtlanta, Georgia 30051 Dear Ms. Kincaid: Dear Pat Thompson: Dear Hiring Professionals: Dear Selection Committee:
Opening Paragraph --Grab ATTENTION!! • Tell who you are • List your references or how you heard about the job • Discuss the position you are applying for • Indicate why you are interested in the company and the job • Highlight the main points you will focus in the letter
Which sounds better? • I am writing today to apply for the account manager position you have posted on your company Website • I have increased the size and sales levels of my client base in every position I have held, which in turn has increased the revenues and profits of my employers. I want to bring this same success to the account position you have posted on your Website.
Think about this… • How can I show I am qualified for this position and that I am a good match for the organization? • What have I done that illustrates these qualifications?
Body Paragraph --Tell stories! • Emphasize your strongest qualifications or top selling points --Focus on personal qualities and special skills that enhance your qualifications • Show how these qualifications make you a ideal person for the job • Provide examples of your achievements that have benefited previous companies • Tell the employer how you can directly contribute to the company
Closing Paragraph • Give a final statement of interest/qualifications • Ask for a interview • Include your contact information • Thank the employer for his/her time and consideration • Sign your letter
Closing Paragraph Example • Please take the time to look over my resume, and feel free to contact my references. I would love to further discuss this position in person. I will follow up with you in a few days to answer any preliminary questions you might have. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me at 916-424-4444. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Final Recommendation • Let at least 3 people read it, get reviews, and revise your letter • Maintain a friendly and professional tone throughout the letter • Check for spelling errors and typos-professionalism is a must