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The Cover Letter

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The Cover Letter

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According to the national PRSSA website, a well-written cover letter can spark the interest of an employer more effectively than a resume. Cover letters should be targeted to the specific employer and his or her needs. Every resume should be accompanied by a cover letter. Since most job seekers do not pay enough attention to the cover letter, this is an excellent opportunity for you to stay one step ahead of the competition.

It is best to state your objective in your cover letter rather than in your resume because then it is easier to tailor it specifically to the employer's needs. You should remain consistent with your objective, however you do not want to turn away a prospective employer in the first stage of the game. Remember, there may be several other resumes on his or her desk, you do not want to immediately disqualify yours.

A good cover letter:

  • Makes an immediate connection to the position or company.
  • Is written directly to the person responsible for hiring decisions.
  • Does not sound desperate.
  • Rarely begins sentences with "I".
  • Is brief and to the point.
  • Does not sound like a form letter.
  • Successfully markets the job seeker.
  • Directly asks for a specific form of response.
  • Requests a meeting rather than an interview.

 

A Good Outline for a Cover Letter:

 

Paragraph 1:  

  • How did you hear about this position/company?
  • How did you get this person's name?
  • What is your objective?

 Paragraph 2:  

  • Why are you interested in the position?
  • How are you qualified for the position? 

Paragraph 3:  

  • Request an opportunity to call and speak directly to the employer (within five days after receiving the cover letter and resume).
  • Thank the person for their time and consideration.