May 20, 2018

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Cover Letter Success

No matter how you send your resume, a cover letter should always accompany it. If you emailing your resume as an attachment, have the body of the email be your cover letter. If mailing your resume, have the cover letter printed on the same type of paper as your resume. When faxing your resume, make sure it looks as clean as your resume.

The cover letter helps to build a rapport between you and the potential employer. The cover letter should be concise, confident but not arrogant, and tells the employer why you'd be good for the position you're applying for.

Your first paragraph should address the position you are applying for as well as where you saw the listing. Also, make sure you mention your attached/enclosed resume. This paragraph is going to be very short, letting the reader know why you are writing.

The next paragraph or two should concisely state why you are qualified for the position you're applying for. Look at the requirements listed in the ad. How in your experience do you have these qualifications? How did you help your previous company? Remember, these paragraphs shouldn't detail your experience; your resume will do that. This should be an overview to give the reader an impression of your personality and traits you bring to the company.

The final paragraph should consist of a thank you as well as an action, like wanting to meet to discuss your qualifications further. This, like the first paragraph, should be concise.

Remember, a well-written cover letter can be the difference between getting an interview or not. Don't be satisfied with the first draft. Read it, and re-read it. The letter should flow naturally and be easy to read.

Cover Letter Tips:

  1. If you don't know who to send the resume to: Oftentimes, an ad will tell applicants to apply to a department instead of a person. Try to get a name, but if you're unsuccessful, address it to whoever is stated on the ad.
  2. Listing Requests Salary History: The best way to handle this is to give a range. In some cases if the salary is omitted, your resume may be discarded. "My salary has ranged from 22-38K in the various sales positions I have held."
  3. Confidentiality Issues: If you're looking for complete confidentiality, this may be noted on the cover letter. On the line above the salutation, type in caps and underline 'PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL'. At the end of your letter, you can type a brief explanation and request that your application is kept in confidence.
Sample 1 Sample 2 Sample 3

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