Cover Letters

Cover Letters:

Perhaps one of the most confusing aspects of finding a job that you’ll face is writing appropriate job-search letters. Letters can enhance your employability, and every letter should
be considered carefully. Generic, impersonal letters simply don’t work. It’s important that you craft your letters to reflect what is appropriate for your audience, your objectives, and the
requirements of the situation.

A cover letter should also demonstrate that your qualifications fit the requirements of the position. Study the position description carefully and decide on one or more themes— education, experience, interests, and so forth—that show how well you fit the position. Link major job dimensions with your related past performance and experience.

Writing Style:

After researching the position and company, you can then compose your letters to show how your background and talents can meet the reader’s needs; convince the reader of your value as a prospective employee; and persuade the reader to take action in your favor. You and your situation are unique; strive to allow your individuality to be expressed through your writing. A key point to remember is that responsibility for effective communication rests with the writer, not with the reader The information applies to both paper (hard copy) and e-mail letters.

Define Yourself:

Clarifying your career direction and articulating your value to employers will make an effective letter. Ideally, your letters should flow from, and be linked to, the following career development tasks:

  • Assessing your abilities, skills, knowledge, interests, preferences, values, and motivations
  • Researching and evaluating occupations, jobs, and employers • Defining your work objectives and career goals
  • Writing a professional-level resume
  • Planning and implementing your job-search campaign
  • Interviewing for job opportunities
  • Choosing appropriate work

Cover Letter Structure:

  • Structure your application letters with 3 or 4 paragraphs:
  • Come to the point. Reveal your purpose and interest. Identify the position and your source of information. Introduce your themes.
  • Outline your strongest qualifications that match the position requirements based on the themes you selected. As much as possible, provide evidence of your related experiences and accomplishments. Refer to your enclosed resume.
  • Suggest an action plan. Request an interview, and indicate that you will call during a specific time period to discuss interview possibilities.
  • Express appreciation to the reader for his or her time and consideration.

Source: Job Choices: Diversity Addition 2012 “Art of Writing Job-Search Letters” by William J. Banis