Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cover Letter Tips

Your cover letter header and overall appearance should match your résumé in order to create a visually appealing, professional marketing package. Including the following information will help you prepare an effective cover letter. Note: Try to format your cover letter with the same heading information as found on your résumé.

Date of Letter

Contact Person’s name and title (Hiring authority, recruiter, human resource director, etc)
Company Name
Company Address

RE: Job Announcement Number or Position Title

Salutation (Never use a first name) (Dear Mr. Jackson:)

Opening Paragraph – State your purpose in writing. Name the position you are applying for, and mention how you heard about the opening or the organization. Indicate what value you will bring to the employer or organization; try to use the name of the company in the opening or state a bold fact about the organization you identified through research of the company.

Body – Explain your interest. Be creative. Mention relevant accomplishments and skills that will benefit the employer, however do not duplicate information included in the résumé. Research the company and weave in some of the information found in your research. Sell yourself!

Closing Paragraph – Refer the reader to your résumé. Include contact information. Close with a positive statement which will let the employer know you are interested. Avoid saying “I look forward to hearing from you”. A statement like this will leave you at the mercy of the résumé reviewer. The employer has no obligation to make contact with you. A good statement may read like, “Please expect a call next Friday so that we may discuss how my qualifications will compliment your organization. For further information, I may be reached at (000)000-0000.” This sort of statement takes charge, and will let the employer know you are serious, and they won’t have to add another task to their busy work schedule.

(Signature Block)

Enclosure: Résumé  (As a foot note, if you are going to write the word Résumé in your cover letter, make sure you learn how to use the accent marks over the letter (é). 

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