All Sample Cover of Solicited and Unsolicited Application Letter - PDF

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					Cover Letter
  Guide



 Colby Career Center, Waterville, ME
             107 Eustis
           (207) 859-4140
         career@colby.edu
Introduction
COVER LETTERS ARE ONE OF YOUR MOST POWERFUL “SALES” TOOLS TO POTENTIAL EMPLOYERS. BECAUSE
COVER LETTERS ARE IN YOUR OWN STYLE (RATHER THAN THE CHOPPY, SHORTHAND STYLE OF YOUR RESUME),
THEY GIVE YOU A CHANCE TO SHOW YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS AND SOME PERSONALITY. LIKE RESUMES,
COVER LETTERS HAVE A BASIC FORMAT AND CONTENT, WHICH ARE REVIEWED IN THIS GUIDE. TO ENSURE
CONTINUITY, THE LETTER EXAMPLES IN THIS GUIDE REFLECT THE RESUMES IN THE CAREER CENTER’S RESUME
GUIDE. WE HOPE THAT YOU WILL FIND THIS GUIDE HELPFUL AND WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS AND
SUGGESTIONS FOR MAKING THE GUIDE MORE EFFECTIVE IN SUBSEQUENT VERSIONS.



Guide Outline
Section I – Cover Letter Content, Format & Types

      Page 2             Importance /Why Bother with a Cover Letter?

      Page 2             Formatting Basics

      Page 2             Formatting/Writing “Checklist”

      Page 3             Basic Components

      Page 3             Solicited vs. Unsolicited Letters

Section II – Worksheet

      Pages 4 & 5        Cover Letter Worksheet Summary & Related Job Description

Section III – Sample Cover Letters

      Page 6             Informational Interview Request—unsolicited

      Page 7             Information Interview Request—via referral

      Page 8             Cover Letter—Internship

      Page 9             Cover Letter—Job (solicited)

      Page 10            Cover Letter—Job (unsolicited)




2
Importance / Why Bother with a Cover Letter?

Cover letters (also known as application letters, letters of introduction, and employment letters) are an
integral piece of your job search strategy. Cover letters highlight your key accomplishments and your fit
for a specific job position. Cover letters showcase and expand upon your resume. Cover letters tell
employers why you are writing, what kind of position you are looking for, and why you are a good
candidate. In short, cover letters are intended to interest readers enough to read your resume and
persuade them to interview you.


Formatting Basics

Cover letters should follow standard business format and layout; the basics are highlighted below
(based on U.S. convention):

   •    Paper Attributes
           o Professional quality, gauged by weight and cotton content (e.g. 20-pound paper with 25%
               cotton content)
           o Size (8 ½ x 11 inches)
           o Color (neutral colors like white, ivory, and gray) to match resume paper
   •    Appearance
           o Margins (1-inch all around, top margin can vary pending letterhead)
           o Spacing (single-spacing)
           o Print (use laser printing for best quality) using font to match resume
   •    Format
           o Block format (Each letter part begins at the left margin.)



Formatting/Writing “Checklist”

   1.   Plan your letter before you write it.
   2.   Personalize. Adapt the letter carefully to the specifics of the job opportunity.
   3.   Do not duplicate what is said in your resume.
   4.   Address the letter to an individual (preferably the person hiring or directing the search) and take
        the time to research his/her title.
   5.   Keep it brief. Limited to one-page only.
   6.   Be concise but persuasive.
   7.   Proofread. Check and double-check your grammar, spelling, and neatness.
   8.   If e-mailing your cover letter (and resume), save the file as a PDF (portable document format)
        instead of Microsoft Word or other word processing file.




                                                                                                              3
Basic Components (for more information see the “Worksheet”)

A cover letter is typically three-to-four paragraphs long. The introductory paragraph states or implies
employment interest. Your opening should capture attention, give the reason you’re writing, and state
which job you’re applying for. Open a solicited cover letter (see “Letter Types” section below) by
mentioning how you found out about the position.

The middle section typically consists of one-to-two paragraph(s)—a value selling paragraph that
highlights your key strengths and abilities as well as a background summary paragraph that summarizes
your relevant education and experience, or a combination of the two. In short, the middle section of a
cover letter:
    • Summarizes your relevant qualifications
    • Emphasizes your accomplishments
    • Suggests desirable personal qualities
    • Refers to your resume

The last paragraph, or close, should show appreciation and state eagerness to hear from the employer.
The close should ask for a specific action and facilitate a reply (by giving your contact information.)

IMPORTANT! You may need to vary your approach according to your reader’s culture. Research the
company and country carefully before drafting your letter.


Solicited vs. Unsolicited Letters

There are two types of cover letters: a solicited cover letter or an unsolicited cover letter.

A solicited cover letter is written in response to an announced job opening. Solicited cover letters tend
to be easier to write because you will know the qualifications for which an employer is looking, as well
as to whom you should send it.

An unsolicited cover letter is sent to an organization at which you are interested in working that has not
announced a formal job opening.

Both solicited and unsolicited cover letters present your qualifications similarly. The main difference is in
the opening paragraph. A solicited cover letter needs no “attention getter” because you have been
invited to apply (either implicitly through an informal conversation or other means, or explicitly through a
current job listing). An unsolicited cover letter (see letter example on Page 10) needs to start by
capturing the reader’s interest and attention by using a strong first sentence and paragraph like, “Can
your fast-growing market research division use an interviewer with 1 ½ years of field survey experience,
a B.A. in English with strong communication skills, and a real desire to succeed? If so, please consider
me for the position.”




4
Cover Letter Worksheet (based on the Job Description on Page 5/next page)

Your Mailing Address (Street or P.O. Box)
Your City, State Zip Code
Today’s Date

Name of Contact Person
Title
Organization
Mailing Address (Street or P.O. Box)
City, State Zip Code

Dear Salutation (Mr., Ms., Dr., etc.):

Opening Paragraph: Introduce yourself in 1-3 sentences.
   A. Why are you writing? What is your objective?
         Example: I am writing to apply for the Communications Intern position posted in Colby Connect.
   B. Who are you? College program?
         Example: I am junior at Colby College majoring in English with a minor in Art.
   C. Why are you interested in this position/company? How will it enhance your career path? Why should they read
        further?
         Example: My strong communication skills, leadership experience, and ability to work as part of a team make
             me a strong candidate for your internship position.

Paragraphs 2 & 3: Highlight your skills and the benefits that you bring to the position/organization. Tailor this to the
specific job posting.
    A. Where did you develop the skills and/or attributes required for the position? (e.g. education, summer jobs
         and/or internships, student clubs, athletics, etc.) Use specific language gleaned from the job description.
          Example: My internship in the Public Relations department with (organization) honed my writing and
             persuasive marketing skills. In this role, I wrote and edited press releases and press summaries and
             distributed them to media outlets.
    B. List specific accomplishments that demonstrate the skills required.
          Example: Through my success at creating a positive online presence, we increased the organization’s visibility
             on popular social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.
    C. Why should they hire you? Summarize your personal attributes and illustrate how they would allow you to
         contribute to this organization or optimally perform in the workplace.
          Example: My course work in digital publishing, my previous internships in Public Relations and Marketing, and
             my energy and enthusiasm make me the best candidate for the job.
    D. Add any additional aspects (from your research) about the organization that entices you and that fits wells with
         your background.
          Example: Discovery Communications’ mission statement is closely aligned with my own interests and work
             experience as evidenced by my volunteer work this semester with a local mentoring and educational program.

Closing Paragraph: Indicate your interest, request an interview, and thank the reader for his/her time. Always include
your contact information.
    A. Reiterate your interest and why you make a great candidate (in a sentence.)
    B. State what your next step(s) will be.
    C. If requested, address salary history or requirements.
          Example: My salary requirement is flexible and negotiable, depending on such factors as additional benefits
            and advancement opportunities
    D. Provide your phone number(s) and e-mail.
    E. Show appreciation. Thank the employer for her/his time and consideration.
          Example: My education, experience, and enthusiasm would make me a great fit for your team. I would
            welcome the opportunity to discuss my qualifications with you in person. If my background meets your needs, I
            can be reached directly at (xxx) xxx-xxxx or at username@colby.edu. Thank you for your time and
            consideration.
Sincerely,

Your Name
                                                                                                                        5
                        Discovery Communications Campus Connect Internship Descriptions

Position Title: Communications Interns (Corporate Communications, Publicity)
Location: New York City
State: New York

Job Description: Communications

Do you like staying up on what’s going on in the media world? Are you research and social media savvy? Do you
possess excellent verbal and written communication skills and are able to thrive in a fast-paced environment?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, a Communications internship at Discovery Communications is for you!
We’re looking for outgoing, motivated, and detail-oriented interns who can multi-task and navigate the media
communications landscape.

In an internship at Discovery Communications you’ll be exposed to all areas of the business through a solid
foundation of learning through training and work experience. Discovery is proud to provide interns with an
opportunity to gain an understanding of our mission, values, departments, employees, culture and commitment to
quality programming, products and services.

As a Communications intern, some of the things you can expect to do include:

1)   Learn how business intelligence is monitored, disseminated and used within the greater organizational context
2)   Write and edit press releases, press summaries, bios and media alerts
3)   Pitch smaller outlets for press opportunities
4)   Draft media advisories, work events, promotion materials and talent appearances
5)   Create trend reports
6)   Get to assist with executing corporate events
7)   Spearhead various research project initiatives
8)   Be involved with media and Discovery staff interviews
9)   Work with social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter)

Candidates must:
• Have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
• Have completed sophomore year
• Currently be enrolled in undergraduate or graduate school
• Be able to receive academic college credit for participation in the program

If you do not meet the requirements stated above, please do not submit your resume. Please note that this is an
UNPAID, for-credit opportunity.

Thanks for your interest in Discovery’s Campus Connections Internship program! We look forward to reviewing your
submission.

Discovery Communications, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. Discovery is committed to being an employer of
choice, not just a good place to work, but a great and inclusive place to work. To that end, we strive to recruit and
maintain a workforce that meaningfully represents the diverse and culturally rich communities that we serve.


6
Sample Cover Letters

Unsolicited Letter Requesting an Informational Interview
Corresponds to resume on Page 16 of the Career Center’s Resume Guide




4689 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME 04901
October 27, 2006



Ms. Amy Burrows
Fellowship Manager
The Advocacy Project
1326 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005

Dear Ms. Burrows:

I am a junior at Colby College majoring in Anthropology, with a minor in Environmental Studies. My study
abroad experience at the University of Salamanca, my course work and research with Assistant
Professor Leon Arredondo on Latino immigrants, and my work experience over the summer and Jan Plan
in Mexico, have all solidified my interest in improving the lives of those less fortunate in Spanish-
speaking cultures.

Through my recent search—utilizing online resources in Colby’s Career Center--of organizations related
to my field of interest, I found a listing for your organization with you as the contact. Further discussions
with faculty and the Internship Coordinator at Colby suggested that The Advocacy Project has an
outstanding reputation for work focused on human rights and peace.

I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you briefly and discuss your “Fellows for Peace”
program, particularly the one in Latin America. I will contact your office the week of November 13 to set
up a mutually convenient time for this informational meeting. Please feel free to contact me at
aboulet@colby.edu or at 207-569-4692 with any questions. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Andrew Boulet

Andrew Boulet




Alert!   Your cover letters must be in your own writing. This letter is for example only. Do not copy.

                                                                                                            7
Referral Letter Requesting an Informational Interview
Corresponds to resume on Page 14 of the Career Center’s Resume Guide


7993 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME 04901
November 2, 2006



Mr. Andrew Norkin
Director of Trails and Recreation Management
Appalachian Mountain Club
5 Joy Street
Boston, MA 02018

Dear Mr. Norkin:

Mike Guarino, for whom I have worked at Maine Wilderness Tours, suggested that I contact you about
my interest in entering the field of outdoor and recreation management.

I’m currently a senior at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and over the last year during breaks, on
weekends, and during the summer, I was a Trip Guide for Maine Wilderness Tours. In this position, I
was responsible for all pre-trip research and logistical planning, participant communication, and teaching
team building and safety workshops. Though my expeditions focused on canoe trips of 15 to 40 days
long, these experiences really piqued my interest in the field as a whole.

I will be home in Massachusetts over the holidays, and I would welcome the opportunity to meet with
you. I will contact you toward the end of next week to set up a time for our “informational interview.” Our
meeting shouldn’t take more than a half-hour, and I would greatly appreciate any advice that you can
offer. Please contact me at any time by phone at 207-454-7612 or by e-mail at pdjones@colby.edu with
any questions. Thank you.

Sincerely,



Philip D. Jones

Philip D. Jones




Alert!   Your cover letters must be in your own writing. This letter is for example only. Do not copy.
8
Cover Letter – Internship
Corresponds to resume on Page 11 of the Career Center’s Resume Guide


6234 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME 04901
March 29, 2008



John Smith, Marketing Manager
Mullen
36 Essex Street
Boston, MA 01984-1799

Dear Mr. Smith:

I am writing because I would like to become a part of Mullen’s 2008 Internship Program in Brand
Planning. While working at Arnold Worldwide in Boston last summer, Frank Brown, a former Mullen
intern, recommended your program to me. I also discussed this opportunity with the Internship
Coordinator in the Colby Career Center. When I read more about Mullen, I was intrigued that you
specialize in Brand Planning for organizations seeking to reposition themselves in the marketplace. I
would like to use my past experience in advertising and my increasing understanding of marketing
techniques to assist you in this challenging task.

My summer at Arnold convinced me that I want to focus on developing my skills in brand planning.
Helping clients to move through the planning stages from developing a vision for their brand to what
their brand represents is central to new ventures, but even more essential for companies who want to
move to the “next level” of success.

During my internship at Arnold Worldwide, I learned how to interpret marketing studies and to write
effective ad copy. The independent study I completed for my Marketing class at Colby strengthened my
communication and analytical skills, and gave me the opportunity to write an effective marketing
proposal. I have come to understand the demands and the creative challenges of the marketing field,
and I am eager to learn more and contribute to your team this summer.

After you review my resume, I hope that you will consider me a strong candidate for a position in your
internship program. I would be available to interview on site in Boston at your convenience, or would be
happy to interview on the telephone. I have attached my resume and a hard copy of this cover letter. If
you would like additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am available by phone at
(207) 873-4553 or via email at jestrong@colby.edu. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for
your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Johanna Strong

Johanna Strong


Alert!   Your cover letters must be in your own writing. This letter is for example only. Do not copy.

                                                                                                           9
Cover Letter—Job (Solicited)
Corresponds to resume on Page 13 of the Career Center’s Resume Guide

5687 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME 04901
November 18, 2007

Jonathan Moore
Director, Undergraduate Internships
JPMorgan Chase
270 Park Ave.
New York, NY 10017

Dear Mr. Moore:

I am interested in applying for the position of Private Banking Analyst with JPMorgan
Chase as currently posted on your web site. Both my employment experience and my classes in
economics and finance have prepared me to make a significant contribution to your organization.

As an undergraduate at Colby College, I have gained a great deal of knowledge that will enhance your
firm’s success. In addition to my finance courses, I have acquired skills in balance sheets, income
statements, most types of financial statements, and working capital management. With minimal
training, I expect to contribute significantly as a part of your team. My strengths lie in my understanding
of the principles behind accounting and finance, my solid research and analysis skills, as well as my
ability to communicate effectively and willingness to work hard.

My various student leadership roles on campus have enabled me to competently utilize my attention-to-
detail and organization while providing exemplary results. My previous employers can attest to my
motivation, loyalty, and service and affirm that they have entrusted me with increasing amounts of
responsibility. My strong computer skills, including industry-specific applications like Sunguard Global
Plus and Thomson Baseline as well as other applications like Microsoft Word and Excel, would also be a
considerable plus for JPMorgan Chase. As a student juggling multiple projects, I also developed
excellent time-management skills and the ability to keep a cool head in high-pressure situations.

I am confident that I will be an asset to your organization. My qualifications are an excellent fit with the
needs of your firm. In addition, my strong dedication to achieving excellence and my commitment to
continually increasing my knowledge and education cannot but contribute to JPMorgan Chase’s
continued prosperity.

I am eager to speak with you. If my background meets your needs, please feel free to contact me by
phone at 207-859-4569 or by e-mail at mhernandez@colby.edu. Thank you for your time and
consideration.

Sincerely,


Martha Hernandez

Martha Hernandez
Alert!   Your cover letters must be in your own writing. This letter is for example only. Do not copy.
10
Cover Letter—Job (Unsolicited)
Corresponds to resume on Page 19 of the Career Center’s Resume Guide

74 Corbel Lane
Winslow, ME 04901
April 10, 2008

Edward Lombarde
Hiring Manager, ECOLAB
Allan L. Schuman Campus
655 Lone Oak Drive
Eagan, MN 55121

Attention Mr. Lombarde:

Does your lab need an entry-level technician with hands-on experience, strong research and
communication skills, and the drive and motivation to succeed? If so, then my background and skills will
be an effective match for your needs. Please accept this letter and enclosed resume as application to
join your team.

In May, I will graduate with a BS in Chemistry and Physics, and a 3.45 GPA. My majors have allowed me
to take several in-depth, hands-on lab courses including Environmental Chemistry, Organic Chemistry,
and Physical Chemistry, where I worked with UV/Vis, NMR, IR, and MS and where I gained experience in
flow injection analysis, titration, calorimetry, and solution preparation. In addition, my strong computer
skills in specialized software like ChemDraw and Spartan as well as in general software like Microsoft
Office would serve you well.

While working as an intern at the University of Minnesota and as a Research Assistant at Colby, I
successfully applied my research skills, and helped to maintain the laboratories. I participated in
planning experiments as well as evaluating test results. I monitored equipment performance and
maintenance schedules. In addition, I was responsible for maintaining biohazard and radiation safety
standards, and ensuring proper handling of potentially hazardous chemical and biological agents.

In addition to the lab work, I recorded, calculated, and analyzed data, and prepared reports. In fact, I
presented the results of our collaborative research at the 233rd ACS National Meeting in Chicago, IL and
at the 46th Annual Eastern Analytical Symposium in Somerset, NJ, where I received a prestigious award
for my work. As an intern and research assistant, I also worked closely with a team of researchers and
learned the value of good lab practice. I work well as a team member but am also a self-starter, am very
reliable and organized, and willing to learn.

I would welcome the opportunity to talk to you about my qualifications. I will call you in two weeks to
follow-up. If you have questions or need to contact me at any time, please do not hesitate to e-mail me
at Jessica.Smith@gmail.com or call me at 207-569-2599. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,


Jessica Marie Smith

Jessica Marie Smith
Alert!   Your cover letters must be in your own writing. This letter is for example only. Do not copy.
                                                                                                         11

				
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