Content of a Cover Letter

Personalize Each Letter

If you are not responding to a job posting that specifies a contact name, try to determine the appropriate person to whom you should address your cover letter. Try to contact the head of the department in which you’re interested. This will be easiest in mid-sized and small companies, where the head of the department in likely to have an active role in the initial screening.

If you’re applying to a larger corporation, your application will probable by screened by the human resource department. If you’re instructed to direct your inquiry to this division, try to find out the name of the senior human resource manager. This may cut down on the number of hands through which your resume passes on its way to the final decision-maker. At any rate, be sure to include your contact’s name and title on both your letter and the envelope. This way, even, if a new person occupies the position, your letter should get through.

Mapping It Out

A cover letter need not be longer than three or four paragraphs. Two of them the first and last can be as short as one sentence. The idea of the cover letter is not to repeat what’s to the resume. The idea is to give an overview of your capabilities and show why you’re a good candidate for the job. The best way to distinguish yourself is to highlight on one or two of your accomplishment or abilities. Stressing only one or two increases your chances of being remembered.

Be sure it’s clear from your letter why you have an interest in the company many candidates apply for jobs with no apparent knowledge of what the company does. This conveys the message that they just want any job. Indicating an interest doesn’t mean telling every employer you have a burning desire to work at that company, because these statements are easy to make and invariable sound insincere. Indicate how your qualifications or experience meet their requirements may be sufficient to show why you’re applying.

First Paragraph (Introductory)

State the position for which you are applying If you are responding to an ad or listing, mention the source.

Second Paragraph

Indicate what you could contribute to this company and show how your qualifications will benefit them. If you are responding to an ad or listing, discuss how your skills relate to the job’s requirements. Don’t talk about what you can’t do. Remember to be brief.

Third Paragraph

If possible show how you not only meet but exceed their requirements-why you’re not just an average candidate but a superior one. Mention any note-worthy accomplishment, projects, instances where you went above and beyond the call of duty, or awards you’ve received for your work.
Fourth Paragraph

Close by saying you look forward to hearing from them. Thank them for their time and consideration. Emphasize your desire for a personal meeting and your intention to follow up your letter with a phone call.

Cover Letter Resource Links

Application Cover Letter (Full Block)
Content of a cover letter

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