How to Write Cover Letter

Writing Cover Letter Basics

  • A cover letter always fits on one page.
  • It always begins with the address of the prospective employer and the date at the top of the page.
  • Most cover letters consist of four brief paragraphs, each 3 to 7 lines in length.
  • The letter closes with a traditional departure phrase.
  • Name and Address of Prospective Employer
  • Address the cover letter to a specific individual whenever possible. Sometimes the name of the person is contained in the ad or posting. Blind ads with P. O. Box addresses are usually addressed as ‘ Dear Recruiter.’ For unsolicited cover letters, write to the Human Resources Director

Here’s what goes into each paragraph. Concentrate on just one paragraph at a time, and this will make the writing process easier.

How to Write a Cover Letter – Six Basic Parts:

Paragraph 1: The Opening

  • Step 1: Identify yourself, using a sentence that begins with “I am . . .”

Example of Cover Letter Writing:

“I am a young business administration graduate with special training in marketing.”

  • Step 2: Mention the position you are applying for – OR – state that you are looking for “an available” position in the employer’s company.

Example of Cover Letter Writing:

“I am applying for the ________ position advertised in . . .” OR”I am writing to inquire about any entry-level or other job openings in your organization.”

When applying for a specific position, mention where you heard about or saw the position posted or advertised.

 

Paragraph 2: Market Yourself

  • Step 1: Point out work experience specifically related to the job description as it appears in an ad / posting -OR- Point out work experience that specifically relates to the company’s products, services, or growth needs.

Lead the reader to find out more about you in a given part of your resume. Start with a statement that provides an overview of your qualifications, then highlight any or all of the following:

  • –Important achievements
  • –Proven skills
  • –Personal qualities

Examples of Cover Letter Writing:

Overview:

“While serving as General Manager for a food company that specializes in providing private label products to the natural foods industry, …

Highlights:

“… I increased company sales by 5 percent in my region, maintained high employee morale, and served on the company’s United Way fundraising committee.”

Important Writing Cover Letter Tips:

  • Never say anything negative about your current or previous employment situations or abour your life in general.
  • When responding to an advertisement, the cover letter must address the needs and requirements stated in the ad and how you are qualified to fulfill them.
  • Emphasize what you can do for the prospective employer over what they can do for you.
  • Some applicants try to make their cover letters “cute” or funny. Don’t: You have no way of knowing if your prospective employer shares your sense of humor
  • Paragraph 2 should not exceed 8 typewritten lines.

Paragraph 3: Positive or Complimentary Remarks

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Prospective employers like to know you chose them for a reason and that they’re not just one of hundreds of companies you’re writing to as part of a mass mailing. (Even if you are doing a mass mailing, you must tailor each letter to each reader and show that you are familiar with that organization or person).

Do some research about the company or to which you are writing, so that you can incorporate that knowledge into the cover letter. It will show you are familiar and concerned with the company’s course of events. You might mention the organization’s reputation, sales record, size, corporate culture, management philosophy or anything else that they take pride in.

Example of Cover Letter Writing:

“I am impressed with your company’s steady growth in the fast-changing computer environment.”

 

Paragraph 4: Pave the Way for Further Action

  • Step 1: Let the reader know what you want in a polite and positive way.

Examples of Cover Letter Writing:

  • “I look forward to meeting with you in an interview in the near future.”
  • “I look forward to having the opportunity to meet with you in the future.”
  • “I will send you an email on Wednesday to confirm that you have received my resume.”
  • “I would appreciate any feedback you can give me on job possibilites or opportunities and how to apply for these.”

 

  • Step 2: ALWAYS thank the reader of your cover letter for his or her time and consideration.

Examples of Cover Letter Writing:

  • “Thank you for your time and your consideration.”
  • “Thank you for your time and for considering me as a candidate for . . . . (name job).”

The Closing

Close the letter with either “Sincerely,” or “Best regards,” . Then space four lines and type your name. After printing the letter, sign your name in the four-line space with either blue or black ink.

Note that the main difference between e-mail and hard copy correspondence is format. Basically, your signature block (address, etc.) goes below your name in e-mail, while it goes at the top of the page on hard copy. Of course you won’t have a handwritten signature on e-mail, but don’t forget this on hard copy.

Almost Done!

After completing these six sections, go back and check your letter for typos, misspelled words, grammatical errors, and awkward phrases. Remember that no Spell Checker catches all errors. Be sure to proof the letter yourself, and/or ask another person to proofread the letter for you.

Always doublecheck the spelling of the person’s name to whom the letter is addressed. Then, when you have proofread the letter and edited your original draft, print a final copy on one of EasyJob’s professionally designed stationery templates. Sign the letter. Place the resume behind the cover letter and fold in a tri-fold, with no staples. Now, your Presentation Package is ready to slip into an envelope or e-mail message, into the mail or electronic mail, and into the In-Box of your prospective employer!

EasyJob helps you to write a convincing resume cover letter, even to be sent by e-mail or to be printed out. What’s more, EasyJob is THE ONLY RESUME-WRITING PROGRAM THAT CREATES COVER LETTERS FOR YOU! Check it out NOW for FREE!

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