Elements of a Cover Letter
Employers use cover letters to determine your interest in a position and to assess your written communication skills. Even those employers who don't read cover letters at first may eventually review them to compare applicants who seem similarly qualified.
The cover letter should answer the following questions:
- Why are you interested in the position?
- How are you qualified?
- Why should you be hired?
Keep these guidelines in mind:
- Address the letter to a specific individual if possible.
- Be brief. Use powerful words, concise sentences, and short paragraphs.
- Don't restate your résumé; instead, explain how your experiences meet the specific needs of the position.
- Focus on the particular employer's needs and what you can do for them, not what they can do for you.
- Keep it to one page.
- Match the type style and paper with your resume.
- Proofread for spelling and grammatical errors.
- Keep a record of where you have applied, when you've sent each cover letter, and when you plan to follow up with a phone call.
Example of a Cover Letter