Career Center

The Career Center has information on job seeking, writing a resume and tips for interviewing.

Writing a Cover Letter

Tips for writing a cover letter for a job

Well designed cover letters are short, connect your features to the job benefits and do not duplicate the resume.  You are the product and you are selling your skills. 

Effective cover letters explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identify your most relevant skills or experiences. A cover letter typically accompanies each resume you send out and may make the difference between obtaining a job interview or not. Your cover letter should have a specific purpose and be tailored to the job you seek.  Do not design a form letter and use it for every job application (you know what you do with junk mail!).

According to jobsearch.about.com  there are three (3) basic types of cover letters.

  • The application letter which responds to a known job opening (review samples)
  • The prospecting letter which inquires about possible positions (review samples)
  • The networking letter which requests information and assistance in your job search (review samples)

A well-written and targeted cover letter will set you apart from the job search crowd. Here’s how to write customized cover letters that will help you get the interview.

Tips for Writing a Great Cover Letter

  • Take the job posting and list the criteria the employer is looking for. Then list the skills and experience you have. State how your skills match the job in paragraph form or in a bulleted list.
  • Include your contact information (address, phone, email address) at the top of every letter you write and in the signature of each email message you send.
  • Personalize your cover letter and, if you can, address it to the individual responsible for hiring. When you don’t have a contact person, address your letters and email messages to Dear Hiring Manager or To Whom it May Concern.
  • Write simply and clearly. Your letter should be one page, or less. Each paragraph should contain three or four sentences, at most. Use a 10 or 12 point font that is easy to read like Times New Roman or Arial. Single space your letter and leave a space between each paragraph.
  • When you're writing a cover letter or sending an email message to apply for a job it's important to close your letter in a professional manner.
  • Even when applying online or via email, your cover letter needs to be properly formatted, readable, and without any mistakes.
  • Don’t forget to include a Subject in your email message with your name and the job title you are applying for.
  • Include a signature on all your email messages with your name, phone number, email address, and Linked In URL if you have a Linked In profile. The easier you make it for the hiring manager to get back to you, the better outcome you’ll have.

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