Writing a Cover Letter

Cover Letter Purpose

When sending your resume to a prospective employer, you should always include a cover letter. The purpose of a cover letter is to briefly introduce yourself and your resume. It does not take the place of a resume, but it can be the key to getting the employer to read your resume.

The cover letter is another opportunity to sell your abilities and skills to the employer. Unlike your resume, which may be mass-produced for many different companies, your cover letter is written specifically for the employer you are sending it to. This personalized touch gives the employer a brief look at who you are, instead of only what you have to offer.

Rules for Writing a Cover Letter

  • Be specific about why you are writing - Let the person reading your cover letter know what job you are referring to and where you found out about it. If you are writing cold, let them know of your interests and intentions.
  • Let the reader see who you are - This is your chance to let your personality show through by using creative words. Try to balance your enthusiasm with professionalism.
  • Send it to a specific person - Sending a random letter to the personnel office will likely be overlooked. Write directly to the person in charge; the one who will likely be doing the hiring. This will be sure to get your resume in the right hands and noticed. This does require some research on your part. Call the company to obtain the person's name, correct spelling and title.
  • Show your knowledge of the company - Let the reader know you have done your homework by addressing their concerns and priorities. Let them know how you will benefit and meet their needs.
  • Show your uniqueness - Include information about yourself that is not already in the resume. Write about something you are proud of or a particular accomplishment. Make yourself stand out.