Cover Letters: Selling your skills on paper

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Cover Letters: Selling your skills on paper. What is a cover letter?. Your formal introduction . The first read, it can make or break your entry. A must with your resume. Generating Interest. The goal is to get an interview! Should be brief and interesting - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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What is a cover letter?Your formal introduction

A must with your resumeThe first read, it can make or break your entry2Your cover letter is your formal introduction of yourself. When looking at job positions, everyone should have (and include) a cover letter (even when emailing, if acceptable). Hard copy to mail. Keep copy for reference.

Determines screening out process so it can make or break your opportunities for the interview. An effective cover letter can impress an employer and sway a decision to interview you. A poorly written cover letter can cause your resume to end up in the rejection pile.

Who will be receiving this material? This determines how and what you address in your letter. Use a template to fine tune.

Some employers look for a cover letter, others will not, but you have no way of knowing so be proactive. This is a best way to emphasize your highlights.Create the right impression: 10 Tips1. Letter geared for specific job openingAdapt letter to the needs of the job you wantRefer to that job in opening sentences

2. Describe your related skillsTie your experience to your skillsShow how they directly relate to the job description


1. First paragraph should identify the position and where you heard about it! For example, as advertised in the Boston Globe on 5/3.

Give examples so they see what your skills are! Look at the description and give back your relation to the job.


Every word should have an impact! Dont use I to describe yourself. Also, take out the word the to shorten body of letter.Generating InterestThe goal is to get an interview!Should be brief and interestingShould highlight what youll bring to the job and specific accomplishmentsShould be versatile, suitable for severable jobs, but tailored when necessary3Everything theyre looking for should be in your cover letter! Keep it brief but interesting!

Show how you can be an asset to this company! Success Stories!

If necessary, change the information to make it suitable. ALWAYS edit and proof read your letters! Have someone else read it through.

Dont ever send in form letter style. This indicates not much thought was put into it.Pre-Cover Letter ResearchResearch the company, their mission statement, policies, procedures, etc. Review websites, brochures, social media sites, etc.Try to speak with current employees; this will provide a unique inside perspective.Make sure you are qualified! Getting StartedOnce you know what the company is looking for, now it is time to make yourself stand apart from your competition.Take some time to brainstormBegin with a list of reasons why you are the ideal candidateOnce you begin to write, be sure you follow the proper format!

Your NameYour AddressYour City, State, Zip CodeYour Phone NumberYour Email

Contact NameTitleCompany NameAddressCity, State, Zip Code

Dear Contact Person:I'm writing to express my interest in the Web Content Specialist position listed on I have experience building large, consumer-focused health-based content sites. While much of my experience has been in the business world, I understand the social value of the non-profit sector and my business experience will be an asset to your organization.

My responsibilities included the development and management of the site's editorial voice and style, the editorial calendar, and the daily content programming and production of the web site. I worked closely with health care professionals and medical editors to help them provide the best possible information to a consumer audience of patients. In addition, I helped physicians learn to utilize their medical content to write user-friendly, readily comprehensible text.

Experience has taught me how to build strong relationships with all departments at an organization. I have the ability to work within a team as well as cross-team. I can work with web engineers to resolve technical issues and implement technical enhancements, work with the development department to implement design and functional enhancements, and monitor site statistics and conduct search engine optimization.

Thank you for your consideration.


FirstName LastNameExampleAvoid These 7 Killer Cover Letter Mistakes

ByPeter Vogt, Monster Senior Contributing Writer1. Using the Wrong Cover Letter FormatThe student's cover letter looked more like a cut-and-paste email than a business letter. It had no recipient information, no return address and no date. The letter screamed unprofessional.2. Making It All About YouIt may seem counterintuitive, but your cover letter, like your resume, should be about the employer as much as it's about you.3. Not Proofing for Typos and Grammatical ErrorsEmployers viewtypos and grammatical errorsas evidence of your carelessness. Proofread every letter you send. 4. Making Unsupported ClaimsToo many cover letters from college students and recent grads say the applicant has "strong written and verbal communication skills." Without evidence, it's an empty boast. Give some examples. Employers need proof.5. Writing a NovelA good cover letter should be no longer than one page (three or four concise but convincing paragraphs). that are easy to read. 6. Using the Same Cover Letter for Every Job and CompanyIf you haven't addressed their company's specific concerns, they'll conclude you don't care about this particular job. It's time-consuming but worthwhile tocustomize each cover letterfor the specific job and company.7. Not Sending a Real Cover LetterThere is no gray area here: You must include a well-written, neatly formatted cover letter with every resume you send. If you don't, you won't be considered for the job.

Create the right impression: 10 Tips3. Make it personalAddress letter to a specific personIf you dont have a contact, call and ask Use a comma after the name

4. Create a catchy openerReaders scan for contentOpen with attention-grabbing sentencesDescribe why youre the best for the job

9Try to get the name of the HR person and/or maybe director another marketing tool. Note: Controversy re using comma after salutation! I would use a comma ONLY if it was on a personal basis. Normally this would appear in the 3rd paragraph of your letter. What will make you stand out from the rest of the candidates? Be creative. Any examples?? Im the person youre looking for!Create the right impression: 10 Tips5. Include vital informationName, address, phone with area codeShould be clearly visible First thing reader will need to contact you

6. Type and proofreadIts your first impressionmake it goodBe sure its neat and professionalErrors will reflect badly on you

10Also include email address! Cell phone is strictly optional (think of when you would be answering that call!)

First impressions are lasting! Make it good! Again, keep it to one page, professional, and appealing. Check for typos!!Create the right impression: 10 Tips7. Keep it briefUse action words, active sentencesLimit letter to one page Three or four paragraphs

8. Be confident, creative, enthusiasticIts a tool to sell your best assetyou!Let your personality shine in your letter

11Use action words! Every word should have an impact. Limit contents to 3-4 paragraphs or use T-bar format.

This is your rap up and time to sell yourself!Create the right impression: 10 Tips9. Keep copiesKeep a copy of every letter you sendPast letters make job search easier Copies make follow up easier

10. Request a responseYour letter is written to get an interviewAsk for one!

12Use your copies as references to refer back on makes it easier for follow ups. Dont hesitate to call within a week or so. Follow up is good!

Tap into our Resume Guide (pass out) for examples of cover letters page 36 39. Executive Briefing on 39. Your letter is written to get an interview so end with looking forward to interviewing with you then do a follow up!

Lastly, be sure to sign your letter. Youd be surprised how many people forget!