Writing a Cover Letter

Cover Letter Formats - You really only need one!

Writing a cover letter can be a rewarding experience. You will have an opportunity to reflect on your skills and accomplishments and express them in a cover letter format that allows for more creativity than does the resume. As you reflect on your qualifications, you will become better acquainted with your specific set of skills and the unique character traits you possess which make you a great candidate for the job you are seeking. Watch your confidence grow as you learn more about your personal characteristics.

When you create your cover letter, you can also explain a variety of situations or highlight certain aspects of your professional profile in ways your resume simply won't allow. Make use of your opportunities when writing this important document.

According to the New York State Department of Labor, "The cover letter is a key step in the successful job search. It is the first thing the employer will see and read. Your resume is not addressed to anyone in particular; however the cover letter always gives you the opportunity to address one specific person. Make the letter versatile so you can change it for each employer. Never write a form letter to be duplicated and sent out!"

When you write a cover letter, remember to write it from the perspective of your potential employer. Make sure that you know what the position entails and tailor your cover letter so that your skills match those needs.

Imagine this scenario: David wants to become a libriarian. There is a position opening up at the local county library, but there isn't an ad posted yet. He goes to the internet and researches the duties of a librarian and makes sure he writes about his own related skills when he writes his cover letter. He will get the jump on other job candidates and will still match his skills to those likely needed by someone in the position being sought.

Here is another scenario: Kaley is interested in becoming a veterinarian assistant. She doesn't have any specific training, however, she has volunteered at the local animal shelter. She reads the job ad and matches the skills she learned with the needs of the employer. Even if her work wasn't paid, she still learned valuable skills.

Above all else, sell yourself!

Suggested proper cover letter format:

List your name, complete address, and telephone number with area code at the top left of the page.

Address the cover letter to a specific person. Include the employer contact information: name, address, telephone, and e-mail address.

First paragraph: Begin with an introduction paragraph to explain how you learned about the job or the company. (Job fair, newspaper, friend.) Name the specific position for which you are applying.

Second paragraph: Briefly identify your skills and match them to the open position. Explain what you can bring to the job. Do not simply repeat the information in your resume. Be creative when explaining why you are the best candidate. The goal of the cover letter is to encourage the employer to read your resume.

Third paragraph: Explain the next action you will take. For example: I will telephone in one week to follow up on this position. Be sure to thank the employer for their time, stating that you look forward to interviewing with them. Let your positive attitude shine forth.

Close and sign your letter. For example:


Your handwritten signature

Type your name

Take your time when writing a cover letter and make it a masterpiece. Your next job may well come from the time you put into crafting this document. Be sure to follow through with any action you said you would take. The employer must know that you are serious and that you approach your job search in a comprehensive way. If you do this, the employer will naturally assume you are like this all the time. It's a great reflection on your character.

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You Can Create Your Own Professional Resume

If you would like more information about "How to Write a Professional Resume", the following book is a great resource:

It will show you exactly how to make an exceptional resume -
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You'll also find some outstanding articles in the book which will help you with your cover letter and the interviewing process, too.

Since this book is sold as an e-book, you can print off as many copies of the worksheets and forms as you need to help you through the easy-to-follow steps.