Cover Letters: Selling your Skills with Sharpay

Cover Letters: Selling your skills on paper
By Sharpay Huang
What is a cover letter?
A supplement to the resume that includes
more detailed information about yourself
 Show our qualifications to a job
 Expresses your interest in a position
 Request for an interview
A ‘must’ with your resume to let you stand
A Few Things To Keep In Mind
The goal is to get an interview!
Should be brief and interesting
Limit to one page, 3-4 paragraphs
Complement your resume, not repeat
Give employers reasons to hire you
Font that matches your resume
 Typical business formatting
 Clearly visible contact information on top
---- A return address, the date, and the
address of the recipient
 Address the letter to a specific person at the
company you are applying to
To whom do I address the letter to?
Here are some ideas on how to get the name of a specific person:
Look in the job ad for the contact person.
Call the company for more information.
Research the company's website for the
person in charge of the department you are
applying to, or a person in Human Resources.
Or to a group ( e.g. Hiring Professionals, Selection Committee)
Example of Heading and Greetings
Craig M. Leroix
2987 W. Taylor Dr.
Portland, OR 45720
[email protected]
February 2, 2005
Amy Kincaid, Human Resource Director
Western Electric, Inc.
387 Collier Lane
Atlanta, Georgia 30051
Dear Ms. Kincaid:
Dear Pat Thompson:
Dear Hiring Professionals:
Dear Selection Committee:
Opening Paragraph
Tell who you are
List your references or how you heard
about the job
Discuss the position you are applying for
Indicate why you are interested in the
company and the job
Highlight the main points you will focus in
the letter
Which sounds better?
I am writing today to apply for the account
manager position you have posted on your
company Website
I have increased the size and sales levels of
my client base in every position I have held,
which in turn has increased the revenues and
profits of my employers. I want to bring this
same success to the account position you have
posted on your Website.
Think about this…
How can I show I am qualified for this
position and that I am a good match for
the organization?
What have I done that illustrates these
Body Paragraph
--Tell stories!
Emphasize your strongest qualifications or top
selling points
--Focus on personal qualities and special skills that enhance your
Show how these qualifications make you a ideal
person for the job
Provide examples of your achievements that have
benefited previous companies
Tell the employer how you can directly contribute to the
Closing Paragraph
Give a final statement of interest/qualifications
Ask for a interview
Include your contact information
Thank the employer for his/her time and
Sign your letter
Closing Paragraph Example
Please take the time to look over my resume,
and feel free to contact my references. I would
love to further discuss this position in person. I
will follow up with you in a few days to answer
any preliminary questions you might have. In
the meantime, please do not hesitate to
contact me at 916-424-4444.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Final Recommendation
Let at least 3 people read it, get reviews, and
revise your letter
 Maintain a friendly and professional tone
throughout the letter
 Check for spelling errors and typosprofessionalism is a must
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