Career Planning Expert’s Tip of the Month – April

A well-written cover letter is one of your most powerful marketing tools … it helps ensure that your résumé gets read and prompts the reader to take action by contacting you for an interview!

As a little background, I like to classify cover letters into two categories: Letters of Application and Letters of Inquiry. In a Letter of Application, you are writing your cover letter to apply for a specific, advertised position opening whereas, in a Letter of Inquiry, you are writing to express interest in an organization and requesting an interview for any appropriate position openings.

Now, regardless of the type of cover letter, there are three basic components that you cover letter should include:

* Introduction: Your introduction is just that – an introduction. In this section, you should state why you are writing, how you learned about the position opening or organization, and provide basic information about yourself.

* Body: In the body of your cover letter, you’ll want to tell the reader why you are interested in working specifically for their organization and why you are the best candidate for the position. It’s a good idea to outline several reasons why the employer should select you to interview over other applicants by calling attention to past experiences, special qualifications, key skills, training, and personal experiences. And make sure that you reflect your attitude and personality in the body of your letter and customize the content to refer to any information specifically referenced in the position advertisement.

* Conclusion: In your conclusion, be sure to reiterate that you would like the opportunity to interview for the position opening or a chance to speak with the employer to learn more about their available opportunities. And do take extra care to thank them for considering your application and then let them know the best way to contact you.

And remember that regardless of the type of cover letter you are writing, your letter should be no longer than one page in length and should be addressed to a specific person whenever possible.

~The Résumé Girl, Lauren Hasson
Career Planning Expert, Campus Calm

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