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HOW TO WRITE A COVER LETTER


Whether mailing or hand-delivering a resume, always include a short covering letter. Here are suggestions:
  1. Address your letter to an individual, not to a title alone.

    Although you may address your resume to Mr. Patrick Burns, Marketing Manager, don't address your letter (or envelope) to Marketing Manager.

    The employer may conclude that, because you were unable or unwilling to search out his actual name, you will demonstrate an equal lack of initiative on the job. He may be instinctively more sympathetic to the applicant who uses his correct name.

  2. Stipulate the type of job you are applying for.

    If you don't mention the specific job or type of work, it implies that you are simply looking for "work." If so, you may not be the interested, motivated, and dedicated individual that the employer is looking for.

    Tell also what caused you to apply, whether an advertisement, the recommendation of a friend who works there, etc, or your own research, etc. Be direct and to the point. Don't waste the employer's time.

  3. Be specific and factual.

    Mention any personal characteristics that may be relevant to the opening. Be specific and factual. Avoid generalities and exaggeration. Back up any claim modestly and succinctly.

  4. Be direct and natural.

    Write as if you were speaking face to face to the employer. Avoid ostentation. Stay clear of complicated grammar.

  5. Be brief. Keep the letter to one page.

  6. Propose a next step (e.g., a meeting).

  7. Tailor your letter to different readers.

    Although you may want to send the same resume to all employers, you probably should vary the covering letter somewhat in order to emphasize different interests or strengths. Certain of your qualifications may be of more importance to one employer than to another.

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