A cover letter is a supporting document designed to compliment, not restate your resume. In most situations, your cover letter will be the first written contact that you have with a company; explaining your interest in the position/organization and identifying the skills/experience you have that will be beneficial to the organization. A well-written cover letter can get your resume noticed, and help secure an interview. It is important to remember that every cover letter and resume you send out should be 100% error free, so edit and then edit again!
Cover Letter Format
Opening: Try your best to find the name of the person at the company who posted the position. If you can’t, then open with Dear Hiring Manager, or To Whom it May Concern.
First Paragraph: State your interest in the specific position and where you saw it advertised. This is also the place to include if you were referred to the company by someone who works there.
Second/Third Paragraphs: Explain why you are qualified for the position and what you have to offer the company. Use specific examples where possible that support the information laid out in your resume.
Last Paragraph: Thank the employer for their consideration. Include your full contact information and the offer to clarify any information from your resume.
More Simple, yet Helpful Tips:
Your Cover Letter SHOULD:
- Be customized to the position you are applying to.
- Be no more than one page in length.
- Be professional, yet conversational in tone.
- Thank the employer for their consideration.
Your Cover Letter SHOULD NOT:
- Be generic.
- Be full of errors.
- Include your GPA.
- Include all the classes and activities you were involved with in college.