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Cover Letter Ingredients

Although you may have a great resume, your cover letter is important too. Since most hiring managers request a cover letter via email or regular mail, you want to make sure that your cover letter is strong and provides key details about your background.

Write a Creative Intro

A cover letter is the first document hiring managers review to find out more about your skills and background. Therefore, you want to have an intro that is not boring but still highlights your skills for the position. For example, you can say, “My passion is using my extensive accounting skills to work for a leading company as an accountant. I am interested in your accountant position.” These sentences say that you have experience working in the accounting field and you are also interested in the position. Don’t be afraid to be creative and have fun with your intro, especially if you work in the fashion or advertising fields.

Why Should I Hire You?

After your intro, focus on your background and skills. This paragraph should include information about your education, a summary of recent positions and your skills. If you are not sure of your professional skills, ask family and friends for assistance. For example, are you detail-oriented or have experience using different software programs? You may also want to share information about why this particular job interests you and how you can be an asset for the employer.

Request a Meeting

In your last paragraph, you want to tell the employer again that the position interests you and request a meeting or phone conversation. Requesting a meeting is a good way to show your professionalism and put the ball in the employer’s court to respond back to you. Also, this paragraph should also mention that your resume and any other documents are included along with the cover letter. For example, if you are applying for a writing position, a hiring manager may request writing samples along with your resume and cover letter. You can end this section by thanking the employer in advance for considering you for the position.

Remember, you don’t want to write a long letter. One page is great to summarize your professional background and skills. Also, prepare different cover letters for different employers. For example, a cover letter working in retail should be different than writing a cover letter in the advertising field. Most importantly, be clear about why you are the best candidate for the job.

Source: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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