cover letters study guide

Topics: Employment, Letter, Letters Pages: 14 (3921 words) Published: April 11, 2014
Letters You'll Need To Write During Your Job Search:
Cover letters, Thank you letters, Offer acceptance/decline letters Creating a Winning Cover Letter
A cover letter is a vital tool in marketing yourself to prospective employers for several reasons:  An effective cover letter will draw attention to your qualifications and experiences that are most relevant to the position for which you are applying.

 Employers often use letters to assess the written communication skills that you will need for any position.  A letter provides you the opportunity to convey to a potential employer your interest, enthusiasm, and other personal attributes that are not easily expressed in a resume alone. Cover letters can play an important role in helping you gain interviews through on-Grounds interviewing and your own off-Grounds search. For these reasons, it is important that you prepare your written job search correspondence with as much care as you used when constructing your resume.

When should I send a cover letter?
Pay attention to times when you need to send a cover letter to a potential employer or contact. If you are conducting an onGrounds job search a cover letter may not always be required. It is important to note that unless requested, cover letters cannot be submitted through the CAVLink system. If you are conducting an off-Grounds job search, sending a cover letter will provide the employer with helpful information to complement the resume. A cover letter can convey your interest and indicate that you are a “match” for the position.

What should my cover letter say?

Why you are writing and how you learned about the organization or opportunity Why you are interested
Why you are qualified and would be a good “match” for the position How you plan to follow up with the employer
Do not restate what is on your resume
Emphasize personal attributes/strengths related to qualifications for the position

How do I begin to compose the letter?
Use your own words! Resist the temptation to compose your letter simply by replacing a few words in the attached samples. Remember, the purpose of your letter is to showcase your individual strengths and your own written communication skills. Use the sample as a guide, but be unique.

To whom should the cover letter be addressed?
If possible, address the cover letter to a specific person, not “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern.” If contact information is not available on CAVLink, use a position title (e.g. Dear Internship Coordinator or Dear Recruitment Manager). Make sure to use current information.

How long is a cover letter?
Cover letters should not exceed four paragraphs or one page in length. They should be clear and use concise sentences and short paragraphs. Use proper business format when constructing your cover letter.

Cover Letter Tips - How to Send an Email Cover Letter
When you apply via email, there are a couple of options. You can write your cover letter directly into an email message (the same rules for writing a proper letter and proofing it apply) and attach your resume. Or, you can attach both your resume and letter, as separate documents to the email address. Send yourself a copy, as well (use the bcc: field in your email program). That way you’ll have a copy for your records. When you send your cover letter in the body of the email address be sure to include your contact information (email address, phone number, etc.) in your signature, so it’s easy for the hiring manager to get in touch with you. The most important part of sending an email cover letter is to follow the employer's instructions. If the job posting says to include your cover letter and resume as an attachment, attach Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF files to your email message. Save the files with your name, so they don't get mixed up with other applicant's materials. Be sure to include a Subject Line in your email with the position for which you are applying and...
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