Composing Cover letters
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Writing Cover Letters
Use standard business letter format, but note some variation in standard conventions .
A simple search will yield hundreds of examples.
If sending with a resume or CV, consider using the same main heading.
Writing a salutation (Dear ..)
Its not a term of endearment.
Avoid To Whom It May Concern (too generic)
Use Persons Name (if known) or Name of Company
Avoid Miss and Mrs. (I dont really have to tell you why do I?)
Avoid Sir and Madam
Writing the introductory paragraph
} State the position you are applying for and where you learned of it.
} Helps the employer know which ads drew the most qualified candidates.
} Compose a thesis statement that serves to interest reader and forecast what is in the letter.
Example 1: introductory paragraph
I'm writing to express my interest in the Editorial Assistant position listed on Monster.com. I have a bachelors degree in English from the University of Idaho where my course work provided applied practice in many areas important to this position. I have strong skills in writing, reviewing, and editing a wide range of documents for a variety of audiences and purposes.
Example 2: introductory paragraph
} I am applying for the tutoring internship position posted at IndeedJobs. My coursework here at the University of Idaho has prepared me well for this position and includes experience in critical thinking and problem solving, as well as knowledge in providing help to disabled and low-income individuals.
Example 3: introductory paragraph
} I am applying for the student practicum position recently posted at the University of Idahos College of Forestry. My coursework has prepared me well for this position and includes extensive study in all aspects of rangeland ecology and management. My senior class projects were focused in areas important to your organization: wild land vegetation restoration and forest ecosystem management.
Example 4: introductory paragraph
} The enclosed materials are in application of the project engineering position recently posted in the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Idaho. My strong background in construction and engineering education make me well qualified for this position.
Writing the Body of Your Letter
Elements of the body of your letter.
} Education focus on advanced course work, particularly projects.
} Employment Internships. Explain what you did. Be specific.
} Highlight accomplishments. Be specific.
} Avoid writing about your hobbies (especially if one of them is hang-gliding) --- ).
Paragraphs in your letter
Education: course work, projects, collaborations.
Relevant employment, internships, paid or unpaid.
Explain relevant accomplishments with specifics.
Example 1: paragraph in body of letter
} For a professional writing course, I composed a technical white paper, marketing brochure, event flyer, press release, and a public policy report.
} [Go into more detail about one of these that would be of interest to employer. State what you did, how, etc.]
} These and other samples of my writing can be viewed at my e-portfolio.
Be certain to test that the link works.
Example 2: paragraph in body of letter
} As part of course work in education, I tutored third grade students over a span of four months in reading and math. [describe a specific tutoring session you led].
Example 3: paragraph in body of letter
} For one of my most recent projects, I created a shell to run in a Linux environment. This shell supports path, history, and tripwire functions. I thoroughly researched the strategies necessary to implement the shell, like to use of fork() and exec(). The result was a shell that reliably executes.
Example 4: paragraph in body of letter
} For my senior design project, my group worked on a model power system, and we set up the protection scheme using all SEL hardware. We learned how to use relays, switches, data concentrators, security gateways, and how to wire everything together.
} Indicate when you are available for an interview.
} End on a forward looking note.
Example 1: closing
} I am available for an interview upon your review of my enclosed resume. I welcome the opportunity to discuss my qualifications for this position in person.
Example 2: closing
} In closing, I would like to note that I am available anytime after 11:30 Monday through Friday to further discuss my qualifications the tutoring position. I welcome the opportunity to contribute my tutoring skills to help students are your school to be successful life-long learners.
Sincerely is most common
Best Regards (not bad but maybe not you)
} Serves to explain what is included in your application. Place underneath your name.
Enclosed: Resume Three Letters of Reference
Sign your letter.
If uploading or sending as an attachment, scan.
Reviewing Letter and Resume
} Proofread. Proofread. Proofread.
} Ask others to review.
Where letters with errors wind up.