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Why Include A Cover Letter?
- Like the resume, it’s a great selling tool.
- Informs the reader (employer) why you are interested in this specific position for this specific company.
- While the resume is usually generic (can be sent to multiple employers), the cover letter is tailored to a specific job opening and specific company.
- Makes the employer want to read your resume.
- A summary of your best qualities and skills in relation to the specific job you are applying for.
Cover Letter Basics
- Your name and contact information:
- Formatted the same way it is in your resume.
- Who you are and what you do (or hope to do):
- Introduce yourself and inform the reader of your reason for writing.
- Include the job title and job code, if applicable.
- Why you are writing:
- State that you hope to gain an interview.
- Example: “I am confident that my skills and experience will grant me an interview.”
- Indicate where the resume is located:
- Attached to an email? Uploaded separately? Enclosed (hard copy)? Indicate this.
- If supplying a hard copy, make sure to sign it. It looks professional!
Elements Of The Cover Letter
- Your contact information (header)
- Company contact information under header
- Re: line:
- Great place to put job name and code.
- Address line–“Dear [name]”:
- If the name of the reader is known, use it!
- If not, “Dear Hiring Manager.”
- A concise paragraph summarizing your interest in the position and your qualifications.
- 1-2 short paragraphs highlighting your qualifications and accomplishments.
- Choose these based on the job posting.
- Do company research! Based on your experience, what specifically would benefit the company’s mission?
- Can do this in a bulleted list, but DO NOT copy/paste from the resume.
- 1 paragraph
- Indicate where your resume is located.
- Why you are writing (usually to get an interview).
- Close the letter.
- “Respectfully”; “Sincerely”
Formatting The Cover Letter
- 1 page
- 1” margins
- If necessary, 0.5” margins are okay, but on left and right ONLY)
- 10-12 point font size
- Formal font type (Times New Roman; Arial)
- Paragraph style
- Single spaced lines with a space between paragraphs
- Keep sentences short but informative
- If bullets are used, these should only be for part of the body. Be sure to conclude with a paragraph.
- Header (your contact information) should match the resume header.