Writing A Cover Letter
Depending on the position you might need to write a cover letter to provide additional information on your experience, expertise, why you are applying for the job, and why you are a good fit for the position.
Sometimes employers give specific instructions on what you should write about in your cover letter, make sure you follow these. The resume cover letter should demonstrate why you are a strong candidate for a position.
The cover letter should be as well written as your resume and any other documentation you send an employer. Use formal English.
There are two email formats which you can use to include your cover letter. You can either copy and paste it into the main body of the email, or include it as a PDF or Word document.
If you send the resume cover email as an attachment, you still need to write an email for attaching the resume.; Write a formal email stating why you applying for the position and that your resume and cover letter are attached.
How To Write A Cover Letter
Perhaps the most challenging part of the job application process is writing an effective cover letter. And yes, you should send one. Even if only one in two cover letters gets read, thats still a 50% chance that including one could help you. Before you start writing, find out more about the company and the specific job you want. Next, catch the attention of the hiring manager or recruiter with a strong opening line. If you have a personal connection with the company or someone who works there, mention it in the first sentence or two, and try to address your letter to someone directly. Hiring managers are looking for people who can help them solve problems, so show that you know what the company does and some of the challenges it faces. Then explain how your experience has equipped you to meet those needs. If the online application doesnt allow you to submit a cover letter, use the format youre given to demonstrate your ability to do the job and your enthusiasm for the role.
No one likes job hunting. Scouring through online job listings, spiffing up your résumé, prepping for grueling interviews;;none of it is fun. For many, the most challenging part of the process is writing an effective cover letter. Theres so much conflicting advice out there, its hard to know where to start. Do you even need one, especially if youre applying through an online system?
Start By Choosing The Right Resume Format
A format is the style and order in which you display information on your resume. There are three commonly-used resume formats you can choose from depending on which is right for you: Chronological , functional or a combination.
A chronological resume format places the professional history section first and is a good option if you have a rich professional work history with no gaps in employment.
1. Name and contact information2. Summary or objective4. Educational history5. Skills and abilities
The functional resume format emphasizes the skills section and is a good option if you are switching industries or have some gaps in your work history.
1. Name and contact information2. Summary3. Skills grouped by theme4. Any relevant professional experience5. Education
The combinationresume format is a good option if you have some professional experience, where both skills and work history are equally important.
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Spelling And Grammar Mistakes
THIS IS A PROFESSIONAL DOCUMENTwhich means, ALWAYS proofread your cover letter before you send it out! This includes double checking your contact information.
It wont do you any good if you have the perfect cover letter and employers who want to hire you if they keep calling the wrong number or emailing the wrong email. Double check! Thencheck again!
Tips For Formatting A Cover Letter For A Resume
Along with your resume, a cover letter provides an opportunity to impress a potential employer with both your professionalism and how well you would fit in with the company’s mission and culture.
How you format your cover letter, both from a content and a presentation perspective is important. Even when;applying online;or via email, your cover letter needs to be properly formatted, readable, and without any mistakes.
Cover letters to send with resumes;follow the;format of a formal business letter. They are written in paragraph form and include a formal salutation, closing, and signature. It’s important to write a targeted cover letter that shows how you are qualified for the job for which you’re applying. Each cover letter you write should be unique and customized.
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Graduate Cv Cover Letter
As a graduate, your cover letter will need to be a little longer than an experienced candidates,;to compensate for your lack of experience and really sell yourself.
This candidate speaks in lots of detail about their education, qualifications, and extra-curricular work which relates to the roles they are applying for.
Build Your Bullet Points
There is a formula for creating detailed, compelling bullet points. The content of each bullet point should contain the following:
What did you do?: What were your duties, responsibilities, and/or projects?
How did you do it?: Specific tools, resources, or technology
Elaborate with details: How often? How many? What was the purpose? Who else was involved?
What were the results?: What did you accomplish or improve? Did you meet or exceed a goal? Did you create something new?
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Reflect On Your Experience
Make a list of special qualities that set you apart from other applicants. Employers will be looking for examples of:
- How your skills/experience/knowledge fit with the position/industry/organization.
- Your ability to deal with high-pressure situations.
- Willingness to assume responsibility.
- A high energy level.
- Strong interpersonal skills and initiative.
Think of specific examples of where and how each skill or attribute led to a tangible result or achievement. Include work experience, internships, volunteer activities, clubs and organizations, research projects, sports, etc. Consider the following as you get started. Have you:
- Identified and/or helped solve any problems? Instituted any new methods, systems, or procedures?
- Acquired industry-specific knowledge?
- Done something faster, better, or cheaper?
- Increased membership, participation, or sales?
- Saved your organization money or reduced waste?
- Suggested a new service, product, or project?
- Re-organized or improved an existing system?
- Refined the nature of an existing task?
- Maintained a consistently high level of performance?
- Demonstrated leadership skills and exhibited good team player skills?
- Reached out for more work or more responsibility?
- Achieved results with little or no supervision?
- Motivated others?
- Coordinated an event or project?
- Trained another person? What were the results?
- Tutored anyone? Did their grades improve?
Resumes And Cover Letters For Students
Just because you are a student with minimal real world work experience doesnt mean that you cant impress an employer enough to offer you an interview. Have a look at these links to see how to showcase your education, internships, and extracurricular experiences in such a way that employers will sit up and take notice.
Samples for StudentsAs a student or recent graduate, you will have some special circumstances that youll want to highlight in your resume and cover letters for jobs and internships. Its helpful to see how to make those hours of volunteer work and casual jobs relate to career-world experience. Browse sample resumes, cover letters, and reference letters especially for high school students, college students, and recent graduates seeking employment.
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Resume Content: Additional Categories
Include only those categories that best represent your qualifications for the position. The order of your resume categories should be based on the needs of the position.
- A specific, concise, one-sentence description of the position desired.
- For a specific position, include the title and company name. For general use, omit or state the field, industry, type of positions you are seeking.
- List of all of your qualifications for the position .
- Typically toward the top of the resume, after Education
- Categorize the relevant, concrete skills you possess. Categories may include: Languages, Computer, Laboratory
- List only the skills you can perform with little or no supervision. State your proficiency level with languages and programs .
- List course titles of relevant courses, in order of relevance. If a lab, include after title.
- May be listed separately or as a subsection under Education.
Honors & Awards
- Students & recent grads can include academic honors, awards and scholarships.
- May be listed separately or as a subsection under Education. Include date or # of quarters honors, awards, & scholarships received.
- List the research project, department/lab/organization name, dates, and description of the project, methods, & findings.
- Use same format as Experience section.
Do Not Include
Tailor Your Resume For Each Position
Its important to revise your resume to tailor it to each position you apply for. For each job, adjust the keywords in the skills section so that its a great fit for what the employer needs. You should also change what you emphasize in the professional history and educational experiences sections depending on whats listed in the job description.
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Resume Content: Essential Categories
- Name , address, phone #, email, and web address .
- Make sure your email address and your phones voicemail greeting are professional.
- Name of school, degree earned or seeking , major and minor, expected graduation date , and GPA .
- List highest degree first. Include study abroad. High school information should be omitted after sophomore year at the latest.
- Job title, company name, location , dates of experience, bullet points describing your actions, skills, and accomplishments.
- May include any type of experience: paid and unpaid positions, internships, military service, volunteer, leadership – anything youve done thats relevant to the position youre seeking.
Make A Sensible Font Your First Formatting Choice
Good formatting choices for a cover letter start with a good font. Use a modern, attractive, easy-to-read cover letter font, nothing too flashy or exotic, nothing that calls attention to itself. You want people to be reading your text, not staring at your odd font choice.;Take a moment to read our article on What are the best fonts for cover letters?
Choose a font size between 10 and 12 points any smaller and its hard to read, any larger and it starts to look like a Mother Goose book.
Align text left, in a style known as ragged right because it leaves space to the right of the last word in each line. Justifying text from margin to margin makes the page look like its filled with solid blocks of black text, and it sometimes stretches words horizontally to reach the margin.;
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Why This Is A Great Example Of A Cover Letter
In the example above, the candidate is concise and straightforward. She conveyed much of what a cover letter should say in the opening paragraph.
Then the applicant lists specific job responsibilities from the job description, and explains that she has experience handling such work. She even gives an example of how her efforts have benefited her current employer. A cover letter like this goes beyond your resume, and helps a hiring manager quickly understand what they will gain from employing you.
Learn more about how to address a cover letter, so that you too can call the hiring manager by name!
Finally, the candidate signs off by mentioning that shell reach out if she doesnt hear back from the hiring manager.
This call to action is a valuable part of a general cover letter. Write your own CTA to show youre serious about the job, and willing to make the first move if necessary.
What Are The Parts Of A Cover Letter
A cover letter is really just a formal business letter that acts as an introduction to your resume. Because it is a formal business document, it should be in block business letter format. In this format, text is left justified .
- Date: This is the date the letter is written. We recommend using the Month Day, Year format, such as January 27, 2009.
- Address: For the address, you should provide your home mailing address followed by the hiring manager’s address.
- Greeting: The greeting is an important part of your cover letter. It establishes who you are sending the resume and cover letter to. We recommend that you try to find the name of the hiring manager to use here. If you can’t find a name, use a generic term like Staff Selection Team or Hiring Manager.
- Body: The body is the main part of your cover letter. This is where you explain what job you are interested in and how you learned about it. It should also present you as the best possible candidate for the job, and explain what actions you will take next.
- Close: Use a polite and professional phrase here, such as Sincerely, Respectfully, or Kind Regards.
- Signature: This area should contain your name, a , and another way to contact you .
- Enclosure line: Use this line whenever you include a separate item in the same envelope or email message. It will tell the recipient to look for the enclosed attachment, which will usually be your resume, but could also be samples of your previous work.
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Select Your Resume References
When selecting resume references, make sure to choose carefully. Consider people who can speak to your best qualities, skills and qualifications. If possible, choose people who can discuss talents specific to the job you’re applying for.
Generally, the best people to include as references are:
- A current or former manager or direct supervisor
- A current or former coworker
- A current or former employee/direct reports
- An academic advisor
- A professional mentor
A current manager, direct supervisor or coworker should be aware and okay with the fact that you are looking for a new job. If you are selecting a coworker, it is best to choose someone that worked closely with you or worked with you on a specific project. This way, they will be able to speak more intelligently about your professional skills.
If you worked together on a particular project, let your reference know that you would like them to speak about your relationship during the process because it will be most relevant to the job you are applying for.
Crafting Your Cover Letter
You’ve found the job you want and have spruced up your resume in hopes of getting it. Now all you have to do is submit it, right? Not so fast!Every resume should have a great cover letter to go with it.So what’s a cover letter? And why do you need one? This lesson will help you answer these questions as you explore interactive examples. Specifically, you will learn the purpose of a cover letter, identify the main parts of a cover letter, find out what makes a cover letter effective, and use several cover letter dos and don’ts as you write your own cover letter.
Watch the video below to learn some tips for creating a great cover letter.
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Your Cover Letter Should Be Clearly Structured And Answer The Following Questions:
Who are you?
Introduce yourself. Include your major and year at Georgetown.;
Why are you writing?;
In the first few sentences, mention the specific job title, if you know it, and how you heard about the position opening. Be concise.
Why are you interested in the position?
Without getting too personal, relate something about the job to your own interests or experiences to show the employer that you have a genuine interest. Do not focus on what this job will do for you unless you are directly asked to answer that question. Instead, focus on what you can contribute to the company.
How are you qualified?;
Highlight skills and achievements that demonstrate why you are qualified for the position, and use key terms from the description that are relevant to your background.;
What is your next step?
In closing, you should request an interview, with a strong reminder as to why the employer should meet with you. Also, consider adding a statement saying that you will follow up to confirm that she has received your resume and cover letter. Skip this step if theyve requested that you do not contact them.
Cover Letter Tips:;
- Align all text on the left margin. Dont indent your paragraphs.
- Match the font style and formatting of your resume to your cover letter.;
- Proofread several times and ask friends to help!
Cover Letter Examples And Templates
Cover letters are just as important a part of your job application materials as your resume. They provide your first, critical impression upon an employer, and thus they should be letter-perfect and convey an appropriate and engaging tone. Keep in mind that if your cover letter is hastily and sloppily written, a hiring manager may not bother to even look at your resume.
Review letter templates for applying for jobs, including cover letter templates, resignation letter templates, thank-you letter templates, and other job search-related letter templates.
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Finish With A Concise Direct Closing Paragraph
When writing your cover letter closing, be polite, confident, and continue to sell yourself as the best candidate for the job. Its important to write your final paragraph thoughtfully and strategically, so be sure to:
- Thank the hiring manager for reviewing your application
- Summarize why youd be a good hire
- Restate your excitement about the job opportunity
- Politely ask the reader to send you an invitation to interview
Heres an excellent cover letter closing example: