HOW TO WRITE

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     HOW TO WRITE
    A COVER LETTER!
A resume should never be sent out without an accompanying cover letter. The
cover letter complements your resume, brings it to life by conveying your
personality and demonstrates your unique interest in and qualifications for the job
or internship in question.

A cover letter should be limited to one page with a “standard” three-
paragraph format—that certainly may be deviated from on an individual
basis. Following are suggestions for the content of your cover letter.

BEGINNING YOUR LETTER:
      Always attempt to direct your letter to a specific individual*
      Beware of misspelled names and use of Ms., Mrs., Mr.

OPENING PARAGRAPH:
      State why you are writing
      State the position you are applying for
      State how you learned of the position
      If someone recommended you, name them*
      Overall, the goal is to capture the reader’s attention

MIDDLE PARAGRAPH(S)
      Tell the reader what you know about their company/DO YOUR RESEARCH*
      Match your skills and qualifications with those requested by the employer
      Discuss how YOUR skills and qualifications will help THE COMPANY
      Do not repeat your resume; instead, discuss highlights from your resume
      Highlight your achievements
      Convey your interest and enthusiasm in the company and position

CLOSING PARAGRAPH
      Thank the reader for his/her time
      Restate the match between your skills and the company’s needs
      State a date (approx. 1 week after application deadline) when you will follow
              up and contact the employer*
      Provide your phone number, including when it is best to reach you
      Do not forget to sign your name at the bottom of the letter
    ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS FOR WRITING COVER LETTERS

•    If you do not know the name of the contact person, find it! DO NOT address your
     cover letter “To Whom it may Concern." This is distant, unconnected and makes it
     appear that you do not care, or did not make an effort to learn more, about the
     position in which you are applying. You can find the contact person by either
     looking up the company's webpage or simply calling the company. Be professional
     in your conversations and ask for the individual’s name-and spelling of the name-who
     is connected with the particular position in which you are applying. Most likely, the
     company will be happy to give you such information.

•    Perhaps someone who works for the company recommended you apply. Name that
     person! This is a form of networking and networking yields the highest percentage of
     job placements than any other form of job search strategy. Take advantage of such
     techniques when searching for a job!

•    DO YOUR RESEARCH! The more you know about the company, its products,
     services, goals and mission, the better a candidate you are. Make a statement in your
     cover letter-as simple as one sentence-that tells the employer that you know
     something about them. Look up their webpage, request company brochures, find
     information at the library or read the local newspaper’s business section. These are
     all ways to learn about the company.

•    Follow up with the company promptly. Approximately one week after the
     application deadline(use the date you reported in your cover letter), call the employer
     and make the following statement: “Hello Mr./Ms.-----, my name is----- and I
     recently applied for (name position). I am calling to assure you received my
     application. I am still interested in the position and I would be happy to answer any
     questions you may have.” This is a very good strategy. It will help the employer
     remember you and the employer may take out your application and give it a second
     look. Warning: Do not be a “pest." Do not call daily. One follow up phone call is
     enough.

•    Beware of typos, misspelled words, addressing the contact person by the correct
     gender and spelling of names. Have several individuals look over your cover letter
     before you send it.

•    Print out a good copy of your cover letter. Copy it onto professional resume paper
     along with your resume, list of references and a matching envelope. Professional
     resume paper can be found at Wal-Mart or any of the copy shops in town.




                      Created by LA Career Development, BRNG 1114, 2/2/07
                           SAMPLE COVER LETTER



November 5, 2006

Ms. Charlotte Green
Employment Director
Environmental Consultants Inc.
P.O. Box 7692
Denver, CO 12345

Dear Ms. Green,

Please consider my qualifications for the position of Environmental Assessment
Coordinator in your Southeastern Region. Nancy Spearman of your Atlanta office told
me of the position. I believe my education and experience make me a good fit for your
position opening.

Your web page highlights that you are in the process of expanding your research
facilities. Because of your expansion, I am pleased to learn that your company is in need
of additional individuals with strong research and leadership skills.

My experience as an intern with Carson Geological Consultants, as well as in the
Jonesboro College Department of Geology, has provided me with a strong foundation in
the field of environmental impact research. My specialty area of soil composition
analysis should prove beneficial in performing the duties of the Coordinator. For the past
two years, I served as president of my Fraternity. I was responsible for coordinating
activities, organizing meetings and providing leadership to a peer group of 25 men. My
enclosed resume provides additional information on my education and experience.

I look forward to discussing my qualifications and learning more about the position. Feel
free to contact me at (765) 495-xxxx. I am available Mondays after 2 p.m. I will be
contacting you on November 15 to assure you received my application. Thank you for
your time and consideration.

Sincerely,


Jim Smith



**Taken from: Career Planning: A Developmental Approach, John Barker & Jim Kellen, Pentice-Hall Inc,
1998, pg. 97

				
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