Cover Letter & Other Correspondence

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When mailing out your resume to a prospective employer, you always want to include an original cover letter. The cover letter is a business letter and, at bare minimum, is used to transmit your resume (or other documents, such as transcripts) to a prospective employer.

More importantly, a cover letter is a job search and networking tool. It gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself to an employer, express your interest in a position, offer the employer insight into your personality through your writing style, and impress the employer with your communication skills.

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Model of a Cover Letter

Your address
City, ST Zip

Name of Contact Person
Street address
City, ST Zip

Dear (contact person),

Opening Paragraph: Why writing? Capture interest!
-> Strong opening sentences to make the reader want to continue reading.
-> Name the job for which you are applying. Tell how you learned about it.
-> Mention the name of a person (if any) who referred you to the organization.
-> Perhaps pose a question that zeros in on a high-need area for the employer.

Body Paragraph: Critical content section. Convince the reader of your skills.

-> Acknowledge the skills required by the open position.
-> State the skills/strengths you will bring to the job and that parallel those needed to fill the position.
-> Give examples of skills, achievements - and how they will transfer to the job. 
-> Comment on your knowledge of the company (their products, services, or special projects) and why you are interested in working for them.

Closing Paragraph: Ask for interview - identify next step!

-> Refer to enclosed resume.
-> Assert yourself by telling the contact person that you will call on a designated date. Alternatively, state that you are available for a personal interview at her/his convenience.
-> Make it easy for the person to contact you: list your phone number and times you can be reached. Even if it is on the resume, list it here again!

Sincerely, (Respectfully, etc.)

(sign your name)
Your Name typed

Enclosures: Resume

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Sample #1

1 Owl Avenue
Boca Raton, FL 33431
(561) 555-1000
March 27, 2000

Dr. Robert Thomas
Chemtech Corporation
750 Research Parkway
Suite 978
Research, CA 75847

Dear Dr. Thomas,

Attention to detail, experience, and innovation are the qualities of any good scientist. Add patience and solid computer and laboratory skills, and you have an excellent research assistant. I have these skills and hope to put them to work at Chemtech Company.

Last summer, I assisted Dr. Davis Shraille with the experiments that resulted in his paper “Five Cents: An Exploration of the Chemical Properties of Nickel,” published in the Harvard Journal of Pocket Change. As his research assistant, I conducted experiments, maintained the laboratory, performed detailed research assignments, and prepared oral and written reports on various facts related to Dr. Shraille’s theses. I also developed a working knowledge of the D-base computer system while working for Dr. Shraille.

All aspects of science intrigue me, from cosmetics to the AIDS inoculation research I have read that Chemtech has initiated. In addition to my professional responsibilities, I have conducted several experiments of my own, including an effort to create a moisturizer formula that works as well as the one developed by Chemtech in 1970.

Attention to detail, experience, patience, and initiative - these are the qualities of a good scientist and research assistant. They are qualities I possess and hope to demonstrate in my employment with Chemtech. I would like to discuss this opportunity at you convenience. You may reach me at (561) 555-1000.

Thanks you for your consideration.


Albert E. Owl


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Sample #2

650 Main Street
Citytown, FL 12345
(561) 555-2222

March 27, 2000

Citytown University
Office of Human Resources
40013 Haverford Building
Citytown, FL 12345

Dear Madam or Sir:

Because Citytown has recently adopted a local area network linking all campus terminals, a basic familiarity with computers will be an important criterion for new employees. As my resume indicates, I have experience with computers as well as a degree in accounting and have applicable work experience.

Interacting with people has always been one of my strongest attributes. During my tenure as president of Beta Alpha Psi, a national accounting honor society, I coordinated the guest speaker lecture series, including two hiring partners from Citytown’s largest accounting firms and the controller from a Fortune 100 company.

As a member of the student activities budget committee, I was responsible for reconciling the budget and dispersing funds to select organizations. This function, as well as my ability to interact well with others, seems to match closely with the description you have provided about the administrative assistant position.

As you can see, I have the necessary skills and the personality to succeed as an administrative assistant. I will contact you next week to answer any questions you might have about me or my background. I look forward to talking with you about how I can become a part of Citytown University.


Julie B. Graduating


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Sample #3

1234 University Parkway
Boca Raton, FL 33431
(561) 555-4321

March 27, 2000

Ms. Stephanie P. Tatoe
Manager of College Relations
Frito-Lay Company
P.O. Box 789
Dallas, TX 75235

Dear Ms. Tatoe,

I am very interested in the Frito-Lay sales and marketing position posted in the Career Development Center of the Florida Atlantic University. When I graduate in May with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, I would like to begin a career in sales and marketing with your organization.

You will note from the enclosed resume that many of my extracurricular and work experiences involved the organization, promotion, and publicizing of events. My background includes direct sales experience soliciting customers for COMB Company and success in managing employees in various capacities. My most challenging and rewarding experience to date was working with Senator Kirkpatrick in the organization of his last successful legislative campaign. I am confident that I have the sales and managerial skills required to be a contributing members of the Frito-Lay organization.

A letter and resume can tell you only so much about my motivation and qualification. I welcome the opportunity to discuss my background with you in person. I will call you at the end of next week to discuss whether such a meeting would be possible and to confirm the appropriate next steps.

Thank you for your consideration.


Johnny B. Good


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