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A cover letter is an excellent way to provide


Cover Letters

A cover letter is an excellent way to provide pertinent information that is not available on your resume. However, if the letter only announces your resume and does not add new information, don’t send a cover letter.

Outline for Cover Letter

We recommends that you attach a well written cover letter to your resume, even though an on-campus recruiter may not request it. This is a good way to draw attention to the main story — you

Date

Name
Title
COMPANY (all caps adds nice contrast)
Address
City, ST ZIP

Salutation:

Explain why you are writing the letter. Capture the employer’s attention by focusing on the company rather than yourself. Explain why you are interested in the company. Mention a personal interest you have in the company, a common acquaintance, or contacts you have who are employees of the company. Another approach is to research the company and mention something you read about the company or industry that is exciting to you.

In this paragraph explain why the company would be interested in you — what you have to offer/what you can bring to the company. The information should expand on your resume and bring it to life. Bullet your strengths and accomplishments, quantifying as much as possible. Point out any experience or background you have that relates to the particular industry of the company.

Be aggressive in you closing, mentioning a plan for further action (call, contact, letter, visit), and then follow-through.

Sincerely,

Your Name

Your name
Address
City, ST ZIP
Phone number

Enclosure

 
 
 

Thank-You Letters

A thank-you letter is essential to keeping your options open. Write thank you notes to each person who has interviewed you within 48 hours of the interview. This small detail may make the difference between you and other applicants. A handwritten personal letter is also appropriate.

Thank You Letter Outline

Date

Name
Title
COMPANY
Address
City ST ZIP

Salutation:

Express thanks for the opportunity of meeting with the recruiter and for the courtesy extended. Mention the specifics of the interview — position, date, and place. Mention something positive about the interviewer.

Next, emphasize your interest in the company and the job. Reiterate what you learned in the interview about the skills and experience the company values most and how your background fits. Bring out any qualifications or accomplishments not covered in the interview.

Refer to issues discussed in the interview.

This last paragraph should be positive and suggest further action, such as your availability for follow-up interviews.

Sincerely,

Sign

Your name
Address
City ST ZIP
Phone number

Enclosure

Suggestions

When writing cover or thank you letters, refer to the examples on the following pages and keep the following tips in mind:

  • Be concise — limit the body of your letter to approximately three paragraphs.
  • Left justification is recommended over full justification (margins lined up on both sides) because it is easier to read.
  • Quantify and qualify whenever feasible.
  • Always address your letter to a specific person. If no person is available, address letter as Dear Department + Position. (i.e. Dear Human Resources Director:)
  • Center the letter vertically on the page.
  • Provide ample margins and white space.
  • Avoid starting the letter and every paragraph with the word “I.”
  • Use perfect grammar and spelling.
  • Have a friend proofread for you.
  • Convey a personal warmth that is missing from the resume.
  • Use action verbs instead of flowery phrases to describe yourself.
  • Emphasize your functional skills.
  • Be bold, convincing, and assertive.
  • Use bond paper and a laser printer for a professional look.
  • Don’t forget to sign the letter!
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September 13, 2007 - Posted by | Career Guidence, Self-Assesment

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