A cover letter typically accompanies each resume you send out. Your cover letter may make the difference between obtaining a job interview and having your resume ignored, so it makes good sense to devote the necessary time and effort to writing effective cover letters.
A cover letter should complement, not duplicate, your resume. Its purpose is to interpret the data-oriented, factual resume and add a personal touch. A cover letter is often your earliest written contact with a potential employer, creating a critical first impression.
There are three general types of cover letters:
- The application letter which responds to a known job opening
- The prospecting letter which inquires about possible positions
- The networking letter which requests information and assistance in your job search
Your cover letter should be designed specifically for each purpose outlined above as well as for each position you seek. Do not design a form letter and send it to every potential employer .
Effective cover letters explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identify your most relevant skills or experiences (remember, relevance is determined by the employer’s self-interest). They should express a high level of interest and knowledge about the position.
Your Contact Information
Employer Contact Information (if you have it)
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,
Body of Cover Letter
The body of your cover letter lets the employer know what position you are applying for, why the employer should select you for an interview, and how you will follow-up.
The first paragraph of your letter should include information on why you are writing. Mention the position you are applying for and where you found the job listing. Include the name of a mutual contact, if you have one.
The next section of your cover letter should describe what you have to offer the employer. Mention specifically how your qualifications match the job you are applying for. Remember, you are interpreting your resume, not repeating it.
Conclude your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering you for the position. Include information on how you will follow-up.
SAMPLE COVER LETTER FOR A UNIVERSITY GRADUATE
Employer Contact Information
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. LastName,
I am writing to apply for the position of Media Relations Manager. ABCD is a fast-moving global institution and an outstanding communications pioneer, now poised to guide the direction of print journalism.
As a recent graduate of the State University with significant experience in finance, administration and media, I bring the energy and commitment to excellence necessary to thrive in ABCD’s innovative environment.
As the current Media Relations Coordinator of the XYZ company, I am a practiced business liaison and an able administrator. These strengths, combined with deep and varied employment and internship experience as a journalist and media consultant with FGH and LMD, prepare me to make a strong and immediate impact at ABCD.
I am excited about the opportunity to join the ABCD team as it moves to the center of the print media conversation. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Your Typed Name