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Creating an Award Winning Cover Letter. MIS 424 Dr. Jennifer Leonard. Contents of the Letter. Heading Addressee Greeting Introduction What I can do for you Professionally What I can do for you Personally Contact me Closing. Heading.
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Creating an Award Winning Cover Letter MIS 424 Dr. Jennifer Leonard
Contents of the Letter • Heading • Addressee • Greeting • Introduction • What I can do for you Professionally • What I can do for you Personally • Contact me • Closing
Heading • Use the same layout as your résumé. This is very professional looking. • Use a READABLE FONT • Make sure your phone number and other contact information is correct. • Make sure that there is ALWAYS someone to answer the phone • Answering machine • Cell phone with voice messaging
Examples versus versus
Addressee • Know the name and title of the person to whom you are writing. • If not, know the title • If you don’t know, try to find out • If you can’t find out – use something generic “Human Resources Director” • Know the address of the company to whom you are writing. • MAKE SURE THESE ARE CORRECT!
Examples • Jennifer Leonard, Ph.D. • Dr. Jennifer Leonard • Professor Jennifer Leonard • Jennifer Leonard, Information Systems • Jennifer Leonard, Professor of MIS • NOT!!!! • Jenny Leonard • Ms. Jenny Leonard • Mr. **** • Brett Smith
Greeting • Use name if you know it • Dear Dr. Leonard, • Professor Leonard, • Dear Jennifer, • If not, some suggestions: • Greetings, • Dear Sir or Madame, (I hate this!) • Hello, • Omit it totally
Introduction • What job do you want? • Where did you hear about it? • Do you have a personal reference? • Short “gotcha” sentence • Be excited! • DO NOT: • I am writing with respect to… (I know you are writing – I have the letter in front of me.) • Enclosed please find my résumé…(Gee, I hope so!)
Examples • I was pleased to see your ad for a Web Master in this morning’s Gazette. • I would like to thank you for the opportunity to apply for your Web Master position. • Your ad for a Web Master in yesterday’s Gazette really sparked my interest. • John Smith recently told me that you are looking for a web master.
Another Example • I was very excited to find your ad in the Billings Gazette for a Web Master. Your organization will need someone who is results oriented and has extensive managerial and web design experience. I have both!
Professionally • A few short sentences about qualifications required that you have • Try to keep “me”, “my” and “I” to a minimum • Use “You” and “your” as much as possible.
Example • Your new Web Master will need to have good project management skills. At XYZ Company, I was the project manager for six different projects ranging from being the head web designer to creating the websites from scratch. All of these projects were brought in on-time and on-budget. Additionally, I can bring you highly developed skills in both FrontPage and DreamWeaver.
Personally • Blow your own horn! • Tell the truth! • Don’t tell about the bad things • “Even though I spent 14 years in prison for murdering my old boss, I have learned how to work well with others.” • Sell Yourself
Example • NO I am very detailed oriented, which is something you need in a wed master. • YES In addition to my professional qualifications, you deserve an individual who is on-time, dedicated, and knows how to “think cow”. I am that person!
Contact Me • Thanks! • Be upbeat! • Don’t put too many limits on contacting you. • I am available after 5pm to take your call. • Fridays at noon is the best time to reach me. • Say you will contact them • Make sure that you give your contact information AGAIN. Don’t make them look for it!
Examples • If I may, I will call your office on Thursday to see when we may schedule a time to discuss how we may be of benefit to each other. • I appreciate the time you took to look over my résumé. I hope that I will hear from you soon, as I am very excited about the prospect of joining your team.
More examples • I am very excited about the prospect of joining your team. You may reach me at 406-256-6057 at any time (just leave a message) or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your time and I look forward to meeting you.
Closing & Enclosures • Closing • Sincerely, • Yours truly, • Enclosures • Enc: Résumé • Enclosure: Résumé
Things to watch… • Spelling • Wed Master (Web Master) • Report (Rapport) • Grammar • I have improved my manager, people and phone skills. • Past experiences • I was responsible for the performance of all the employees, including the service department.
More things • More weird stuff • I would appreciate it if you would keep this inquiry confidential. • As my present employer is unaware of my current job search, I would appreciate it if you would keep this inquiry confidential. • Other Stuff • Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES use your employers’ phone or e-mail address, letterhead, etc!!!!
REMEMBER • Your reader has a very short attention span • Don’t repeat what is in your résumé • Don’t include tons of personal information • Don’t tell my why you are unhappy with your job or why you left your last job. MAKE ME WANT TO LOOK AT YOUR RESUME AND TALK TO YOU!