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					Cover Letters
   Purpose of cover letters

 Explains why you are sending your

 Tells how you learned about the
  position or organization

 Convinces the reader to look at your

 Calls attention to aspects of your
More purposes…

  Reflects your attitude

  Provides specifically requested

  Indicates what you will do to follow up

  Writing sample
There are three basic parts to a cover letter:
 An introduction - a statement of who you are and
   why you are sending the letter
 A sales pitch - an overview of your qualifications,
   skills, abilities, and accomplishments
 A call to action - a request for a specific action such
   as an interview

Ideally, you will cover these three basic parts in just 3 - 5
   concise paragraphs typed on one page. The following
   is an outline of how the "typical" cover letter content
   is organized.
First Paragraph
statement of who you are and why you are
   sending the letter
 Immediately state the position you are
   interested in and the reason that you would
   be the best candidate for this position.
 If you are responding to an advertisement,
   state this.
 If you have been doing research into the
   company, this is a good place to mention it.
 Second Paragraph
 A sales pitch

an overview of your qualifications, skills,
   abilities, and accomplishments
   Discuss your qualifications and show how the
    company will benefit from them.
   Highlight your special accomplishments. Consider
    using bullets to make these stand out.
   If you are responding to an advertisement, use
    this paragraph to detail how your background
    parallels the qualification requirements mentioned
    in the ad.
   Don't feel that you need to write a detailed
    synopsis of your employment history. Include just
    the highlights and the pertinent information.
Third Paragraph
A call to action
a request for a specific action such as an
 Make it clear to the reader that you would
   like to speak to them in person.
 Specifically ask for an interview and make
   sure that you include your telephone
   number and any special instructions to
   reach you.
 Alternatively, write that you will follow up
   with a telephone call on a specific date at a
   specific time and then make sure that you
Step 4
 The closing of your letter should appear two lines
  under the body. Align this with your return address.
  This may be either on the right or left margin,
  depending on the style you chose.
 A simple "Sincerely," will usually be fine. Under this,
  apply four lines and type your name. Make certain
  that after the letter is printed, you insert your
  signature above this.
 Type an enclosure line on the left margin and several
  lines under your name. This may be in the form
  "Enclosure" or "Enc. resume".
 Whenever possible, use an envelope that matches
  your paper.
 Try to avoid using mailing labels as this makes your
  envelope look similar to a bulk mailing and it may not
  be opened.
 Although it is acceptable to hand address or type the
  envelope, some experts believe that a hand written
  envelope will be more likely to be noticed and opened
  as it resembles personal correspondence. If you have
  the time and are sending only a few letters at a time,
  you may wish to use this method, otherwise, it may
  be more efficient to print the envelopes using a mail
  merge program.
Common cover letter mistakes

 Sounds like a form letter
    “To whom it may concern”
    Not using the company’s name

 Too long

 Not demonstrating how your background and
  skills are a fit for the position

 Using an inappropriate writing style

 Individualize

 Edit your writing
   Grammar, spelling and punctuation

 Be yourself
 Matching paper
 Keep records

Usually 3 - 5 individuals

Choose carefully

ALWAYS ask first
More on references

 Provide a copy of your

 Keep references informed

 List references on a separate
                                           7 Apple Court
                                         Eugene, OR 97401

Mr. Archie Weatherby
California Investments, Inc.
25 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Dear Mr. Weatherby,

My outgoing personality, my sales experience, and my recently completed education make me a
strong candidate for a position as an insurance broker for California Investments, Inc.

I recently graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in marketing, where I was
president of both the Future Business Leaders of America and the American Marketing

Although a recent graduate, I am not a typical new graduate. I attended school in Michigan,
Arizona, and Oregon. And I've put myself through these schools by working such jobs as radio
advertising sales, newspaper subscription sales, and bartending, all of which enhanced my formal

I have the maturity, skills, and abilities to embark on a career in insurance brokering, and I'd like
to do this in California, my home state.

I will be in California at the end of this month, and I'd like very much to talk with you concerning
a position at California Investments. I will follow up this letter with a phone call to see if I can
arrange a time to meet with you.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

John Oakley

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