Writing Winning Cover Letters by vwr42075


									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

 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.

 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 mail 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


Name of Contact Person
Contact Person Title
Name of Company, Corporation or Agency
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

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.)


Several samples are provided.




                                      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

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.


Eric Dillinger
                                     REFERRAL Sample

111 River Drive
Amherst, MA 01003

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 3.6 GPA. 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 &

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.


Mia Student
                                  COLD CALL Sample

5698 N. Dunn Street
Amherst, MA 01003

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.


Ian P. Welch
                                    SNAIL MAIL Sample

Joseph Wilco
1234 N. Jordan Avenue
Amherst, MA 01003

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.


Ian P. Student

To top