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9 Things to keep in mind when writing a cover letter

by Pat 7. January 2015 13:37

Many Subscribers use the Avjobs provided Cover Letters; however, you are encouraged to put similar thoughts in your own writing.

When writing your own cover letter

  • Demonstrate your writing and professional communication skills

  • Show that you have done your research about the field and the employer

  • Summarize your skills and training relevant to the job

  • Communicate enthusiasm for the position and the employer

Cover Letter Guidelines
Cover letters are written for many reasons: to inquire about job openings, to request an informational interview, to apply for a position, to follow up after an interview, and to accept a job offer.

Avjobs provides a few samples to get your started.  These sample letters are used in the Avjobs "One Click" application process and are acceptable by all participating employers.  Many Subscribers use the Avjobs provided samples, however, you are encouraged to put similar thoughts in your own writing.

Things to keep in mind

  • Always mail a resume with a cover letter. Writing a cover letter often shows a level of interest that is appreciated by an employer. A resume alone might be ignored as there is nothing to distinguish it from other resumes

  • Address each letter to the recipient by name. If you do not know the name of a contact, call the organization and find out who is the manager or director of your department of interest. If you cannot obtain a contact name, write "Dear Director:" You could also choose to write the president of the organization. At worst, your letter will get sent to Human Resources; at best, s/he may take an interest in you. A letter addressed "Dear Sir/Madam" will get as much attention as mail marked "occupant"

  • Keep your letter to one page. Letters much longer will lose the reader's attention. Employers read through many cover letters and resumes and want to be attracted by a letter that is succinct, catchy and says something unique about the person

  • Research the employer. Your letter should reflect that you know something about the organization and the type of industry in general. Each letter should be unique to that organization. Do not use a letter that looks like it could have been sent to anyone

  • Count the "I's" in your letter. Be careful not to begin too many of your sentences with "I." Change sentences so that the word "I" is eliminated. For example, "I have had experience in..." could be changed to "My experience includes..."

  • Start your letter with a strong sentence. Inspire the reader to read on by communicating something unique to that person or organization

  • Use the body of the letter to highlight brief facts which arouse the reader's curiosity. Hopefully it will interest the reader to look closely at your resume and ask you for an interview

  • Conclude the letter by directly asking for an opportunity to meet and/or talk with the employer. Indicate when you will call to follow up and (hopefully) arrange a time to meet for an interview. Try to call a day or two after your letter arrives, and always follow up when you say you will

  • Proofread! Make sure there are no typos, misspellings, grammatical or factual errors. Employers are always looking for reasons to weed people out of a large pile of resumes and cover letters

 

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