Writing Effective Cover Letters

Writing Effective cover Letters - Writing Cover Letters to Make a Great Impression 7/31/2009

Cover Letter
A cover letter is a potential employer’s first impression of you. Most businesses require a cover letter. It shows that you know business etiquette. A cover letter should be carefully designed to address each job for which you apply. The content and layout are of equal importance. There are two kinds of cover letters. The letter of inquiry is used to ask if there are any openings for a person with your qualifications. The letter of application is sent when an opening exists for which you want to apply. When writing a quality cover letter, keep in mind these four guidelines:
  • Use the Correct Form
  • Cover letters should be typed on the same quality paper that you use for your resume. Use the format for business letters. When mailing, use a manila envelope that includes your cover letter and resume.

  • Use Simple, Direct Language
    Keep the letter short and straightforward. Limit it to one page.

  • Address Your Letter to a Specific Person
    If possible, find out the name of the person who is responsible for hiring. If not, use the greeting -- Attention Personnel.

  • Identify the employers requirements for the position
    Usually these requirements deal with your education, experience, and a few specific skills. List no more than 5 no fewer than 3. Show how your skills relate to the particular position with the use of clear and concise phrases or sentences. Bold, underline, set back, or bullet the skills you are emphasizing. Write your cover letter with emphasis on these skills/benefits for the position.

Thank You Letter or Thank You Note
This may be either handwritten or typed. If you choose to use a note card, a plain one or simpleThank You is best. Send a thank you letter or note after each personal contact with an employer or one of their staff. Your letter should consist of a simple thank you for the interview or for the person’s time, a restatement of your interest in the position, and a statement that you are looking forward to hearing from the employer again. Make the note as personal as possible. Mention any information that you received that was helpful or interesting. Remember to enclose any additional information that may have been requested.

Letter of Acceptance

You did it! Make sure you respond immediately and that you meet with any requests.

Letter Declining an Offer

This letter can become important if you have a future interest in the company, especially if you ever re-apply for another position. Reply with a written response promptly and make sure to thank them for showing interest in you.

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