Middle Tennessee State University University Writing Center – Peck Hall 325 – 904 8237 University Speaking Writing Center – Ezell 119 – 494 8616 MIS 2 Writin

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Middle Tennessee State University University Writing Center – Peck Hall 325 – 904 8237 University Speaking Writing Center – Ezell 119 – 494 8616 MIS 2 Writin Powered By Docstoc
					Middle Tennessee State University
University Writing Center – Peck Hall 325 – 904-8237
University Speaking & Writing Center – Ezell 119 – 494-8616

                                   MIS 2: Writing a Cover Letter

Cover letters should accompany any submitted resume. This letter is your opportunity
to sell your skills, talents, and knowledge. If applicants are being solicited, use a direct
approach in the opening paragraph; if you don’t know if a position exists, use an
indirect approach.

Purpose of the Cover Letter:
     1. Introduce the resume
     2. Highlight your strengths
     3. Gain an interview

Goals for Cover Letter:
      1. Catch the reader’s attention favorably.
      2. Explain which particular job interests you and why.
      3. Convince reader you are qualified for the job by drawing your reader’s
         attention to specific elements in your resume.
      4. Request an interview.

Opening Paragraph:
   Indicate how you learned about the job opening.
        o Give specifics on the newspaper or online source:
           “Your advertisement in the August 19 Daily News Journal for a district
           manager . . . .”
        o Mention any employee, career counselor, professor, who referred you to
           the company:
           “I recently learned from . . .”
   State your job objective and mention the specific job title.
        o “Tommy Jones informed me of a possible opening for district manager.”
        o “I would like to apply for . . . .
   Explain why you are interested in the job.
        o “Because of my specialized training in computerized accounting, I feel
           confident that I have the qualifications you described in your
           advertisement for a cost accountant trainee.”

Central Paragraphs:
   Indicate why you are interested in the position, the company, its products and
      services, and what you can do for the company.
   Show through specific examples and details that you are qualified for the job.
   Explain how your academic background makes you a qualified candidate.
   Show pride in your achievements.
   Refer to your enclosed resume, but do not repeat the same information.
Middle Tennessee State University
University Writing Center – Peck Hall 325 – 904-8237
University Speaking & Writing Center – Ezell 119 – 494-8616

         Indicate how you can make valuable contributions to the company:
              o “I am confident that my ability to take the initiative would be a valuable
                  asset to your company.”
         Stick to one point that is clearly stated in the topic sentence.
         Second paragraph might focus on work experience.
         Third paragraph might focus on educational achievements and/or summarize
          your qualifications or experience. You may also refer the reader to your resume
          or portfolio.

Closing Paragraph:
    Request an interview:
         o “I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how I
            can put my skills to work for (name of company).”
    Supply contact information:
         o Provide your phone number and a professional e-mail address.
    End with a statement of goodwill:
         o “Thank you for considering my application.”

General Guidelines
   Research the company. This way, when you write your cover letter you can be
     specific. Generic cover letters will be considered junk mail.
   Address the letter to the specific person in charge of hiring, as opposed to generic
     receivers such as “Personnel Manager” or “Human Resources Department.” If
     you are not certain how to spell a name, or if you need further information, call
     the company.
   Use active verbs to describe your accomplishments: administered, analyzed,
     managed, marketed, initiated, created, designed, assessed, motivated, compiled,
     processed, monitored, achieved, directed, improved, transformed, etc.
   Limit your letter to one page.
   Proofread your letter carefully. If there is even one spelling, grammatical, or
     mechanical error, your application may be eliminated from consideration. These
     errors give the impression that you lack writing skills or that you are careless and
     unprofessional.




Adapted from: Alred, Gerald J., Charles Brusaw, and Walter E. Oliu. Handbook of Technical Writing. 7th ed. Boston: Beford-St. Martin’s, 2003.
Employment Guide for College Seniors. Simsbury Management Group, 1989.Guffey. Business Communication: Process and Product. 4th ed.
Thomason-Southwestern.
Middle Tennessee State University
University Writing Center – Peck Hall 325 – 904-8237
University Speaking & Writing Center – Ezell 119 – 494-8616

                                            Sample Cover Letter

(Your) Mailing Address
(Allow two lines for address)
Date

Employer’s Name
Title
Company Name
Mailing Address

Dear _____________:

First Paragraph. In your initial paragraph, state the reason for the letter, name the specific position
or type of work for which you are applying, and indicate from which resource (placement center,
news media, friend, employment service, etc.) you learned of the opening.

Second Paragraph. Indicate why you are interested in the position, the company, its products or
services, what you can do for the employer. If you are a recent graduate, explain how your academic
background makes you a qualified candidate. Try not to repeat the same information the reader will
find in the resume.

Third Paragraph. Refer the reader to the enclosed resume or application form, which summarizes
your qualifications and experiences, or to your portfolio.

Final Paragraph. In the closing paragraph, indicate your desire for a personal interview and your
flexibility as to the time and place. State your phone number in the letter. Finally, close your letter
with a statement or question that will encourage a response. For example, state that you will be in
the city where the company is located on a certain date and would like to set up an interview, or
state that you will call on a certain date to set up an interview. Ask if the company will be recruiting
in your area or if it desires additional information or references.

Sincerely,

(Signature)

Type Name

Enclosure (Always send a resume with your cover letter.)




Adapted from Employment Guide for College Seniors, Simsbury Management Group. Copyright, Simsbury Management Group,
1989.