Writing Winning Cover Letters WRITING WINNING COVER LETTERS What is

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					Writing Winning Cover
Letters
                     WRITING WINNING COVER LETTERS

What is a Cover Letter?
Your cover letter works in partnership with your resume to convince an employer that your skills
and background make you a candidate worth interviewing. It’s your marketing tool!

A good cover letter will make you a more attractive candidate by demonstrating:
• Knowledge about the job, the company, the industry
• Effort in your job search, motivation, and enthusiasm for the job
• Professionalism and detail orientation
• Writing skills
• Organized thinking
• Understanding about yourself
• Energy and Motivation

Prepare
• Review the job description in detail.
• List the skills and attributes the employer is seeking.
• Identify how your qualifications match the skills and attributes.
• Choose three to five matching skills and attributes to use in your letter.
• Research the employer to identify important facts including products and services

Anatomy of a Cover Letter
A cover letter generally consists of three or four brief paragraphs; written in an active voice, and
professional style.

Salutation
• Address your letter to a specific person, (be sure of the correct spelling and appropriate title
    (Mr. Ms. Dr., etc.) whenever possible
• Acceptable alternatives include “Dear Internship Coordinator” or “Dear Hiring Manager”,
    however, do not write “to whom it may concern”.

First Paragraph

Introduce the purpose of your writing.

•   Explain clearly and succinctly why you are writing.
•   State the full name of the position. Describe how you learned about it, name of person, printed
    or on-line media etc.

Second/Third Paragraph

•   Write these paragraphs based on your preparation.
•   Explain how your qualifications match the job description by highlighting relevant experience
    and briefly describing accomplishments that demonstrate your capabilities.

Last Paragraph

The closing paragraph can be short and simple.

•   Stress your enthusiasm for the position and your interest in meeting for an interview.
•   State how and when you can best be contacted.
•   Thank the individual and end with an appropriate closing.

Email VS. Standard (snail) Mail
    •   Some employers will express a preference between standard email and email, while others
        will accept either. There is no need for both. When using email, use the cover letter as the
        body of an email and attach the resume as a Word or PDF document. Another option is to
        simply cut and paste the resume to the body of the email. This may be preferable to
        employers who want to avoid virus attachments. Just make sure the formatting on the
        resume stays the same. Write a compelling subject line.
                                       Cover Letter Format

Your Street
Physical Address and Email Address

Date

Name of Contact Person
Contact Person Title
Name of Company, Corporation or Agency
Address
City, State, Zip

Dear           :

AROUSE INTEREST: Write in an active conversational voice. Introduce yourself, state why you
are writing, identify the full time position, internship or co-op for which you would like to be
considered, and indicate how you heard of the position. Be specific in defining your purpose.

CREATE DESIRE: This should answer the question, “Why should I hire you?” Summarize your
qualifications for the position. Give examples of your skills and experiences that relate to the
position. State your interest in the position, the company, and the field. Refer the reader to your
enclosed resume for additional information.

ASK FOR ACTION: End letter by stating that you would welcome the opportunity for an in-
person or phone interview. If appropriate, indicate that you will contact them in a week to set up
an appointment to discuss your qualifications further. (Only say this if you will really contact
them.)


COVER LETTER SAMPLES:

Several samples are provided.

   1. EMAIL SAMPLE

   2. REFERRAL SAMPLE

   3. COLD CALL SAMPLE
   4. SNAIL MAIL SAMPLE




                                        EMAIL Sample




                                                                           October 15, 2007
Dear Mr. Morgan,

I am interested in pursuing a career opportunity as an analyst with Boston Properties. I learned of
the exciting career opportunities on the Isenberg School of Management’s career website. I would
welcome the opportunity to interview with your firm and have attached a copy of my resume for
your review.

As an intern for MassInnovation, I was chosen to serve as a sub-committee chairperson and have
worked with a team of five local business owners to analyze downtown real estate investments.

I am confident that the skills I have acquired from my activities and academics have prepared me for
a challenging and productive summer internship with your company. Therefore I am excited about
this opportunity and am available for an interview at your earliest convenience.

I may be contacted at edill@student.umass.edu or at (909)111-2222. Thank you for your time and
consideration.

Sincerely,


Eric Dillinger
edill@student.umass.edu
                                       REFERRAL Sample



111 River Drive
Amherst, MA 01003
(413)555-6353
miastude@student.umass.edu


October 15, 2007


Ms. Cathy Recruiter
McKinsey & Company
10 Park Avenue South
City, State Zip Code

Dear Ms. Recruiter,

Mr. Frank Hurley suggested that I forward my resume to you for consideration. I am a senior at the
University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Isenberg School of Management majoring in Finance with a
minor in Economics with a 3.6GPA. I am currently working as summer intern with Alternative
Investments Group.

As Mr. Hurley may have mentioned, I am in the top 5% of my class at Isenberg, and I recently was
elected president of Beta Gamma Sigma, National Business honor Society. In both my academic and
extracurricular activities, I have consistently demonstrated my capacity to make a positive impact,
regardless of the situation. My analytical and personal skills are ideally suited to management
consulting, and I am confident that would be an asset to McKinsey & Company.

I have extensive knowledge of business applications including Excel, Word and Access and have
interpreted complex data for several honor classes as well as an independent study on global
investment strategies. I believe my strengths in data analysis, analytical problem solving, and
communication have prepared me for a successful career in investment banking.
I want to thank you in advance for your time and preference list consideration. You may contact me
at miastude@student.umass.edu or (413)555-6353.


Sincerely,


Mia Student



                                     COLD CALL Sample

5698 N. Dunn Street
Amherst, MA 01003
(413)555-9875


October 15, 2007


Mr. Isaac B. Morgan
Sales Representative
Eli Lilly
1234 Address Drive
New York, NY 10010

Dear Mr. Morgan,

After researching Eli Lilly’s website and reviewing the multiple opportunities available through the
University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Isenberg School of Management, I am particularly interested
in pursuing the Pharmaceutical Sales position with your company. I believe my strengths in
linguistics, interpersonal communication and computers skills match well with the available
position.

I will graduate from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Isenberg School of Management in
May 2008 with a degree in marketing with a cumulative 3.8 GPA. In addition to being a member of
four honor societies and the Captain of the University of Massachusetts Lacrosse Team, I gained
valuable overseas experience as a telemarketer while studying in London last summer. My rigorous
educational experience and personal determination to succeed will make an immediate impact to
your bottom line.

In the next four weeks I will complete my internship with General Electric where I have gained
hands-on experience in commercial sales while working closely with clients and members of the
community. Through this experience, I have strengthened my interpersonal and negotiating skills by
implementing and reviewing a marketing plan. I believe this experience has prepared me well for
future employment.

Thank you for your time. I would enjoy an opportunity to interview with your organization and
have attached a copy of my resume for consideration. If I do not hear from you within a week, I
will call you to discuss my qualifications.

Sincerely,


Ian P. Welch



                                      SNAIL MAIL Sample


Joseph Wilco
1234 N. Jordan Avenue
Amherst, MA 01003
jwilco@student.umass.edu


October 15, 2007

Mr. Fred Savage
General Electric Company
100 Land’s End Avenue
Boston, MA 01010

Dear Mr. Savage,

I am interested in pursuing the Financial Leadership Program internship with General Electric
Company. After learning more about General Electric’s internship program at the Isenberg School
of Management, I believe this internship opportunity will offer an experience that will strengthen
my career aspirations. A copy of my resume is attached for your review.

I am currently majoring in Finance with a minor in Philosophy, and have maintained a cumulative
3.4 GPA. I am a recipient of the Ford Motor Company scholarship awarded for outstanding
academic achievement during my first 2 years at Isenberg School of Management.
I possess strong analytical skills and enjoy the challenges associated with corporate financial
analysis and decision making. Throughout my college career, I have strengthened my interpersonal
and communication skills as demonstrated by my selection as the Recruitment Chair and Pledge
Educator for my fraternity. These leadership roles and responsibilities include speaking to large
groups, interacting with national executives, and working within a team environment. I believe these
experiences make me an ideal candidate for your internship program.
In my extracurricular and academic activities I have used several business applications including
Word, Excel, and Power Point to analyze data for reports and conduct presentations to faculty,
students and staff. I believe my experience in data analysis, analytical problem solving, and
interpersonal communications can be a successful asset in your company.

I want to thank you in advance for your time and preference list consideration. You may contact me
at ipstudnet@student.umass.edu or (413)555-1234.

Sincerely,


Ian P. Student