The Cover Letter is a simple business letter. It should always be in a professional format and the content is three (sometimes four) simple paragraphs. Example:
535 West Michigan Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
June 1, 2008
Creative Services Director
Name of Company
465 N. Thompson Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Dear Mr. Myer,
1st Paragraph: State what position you are applying to and where you found the posting. Mention when you found it and in what publication. You should also tell them that you are interested in this position for specific reasons. This is a good place to mention the name of a person who told you to apply or suggested that you were a good match. (Make sure that you okay it with the person before you give their name.)
2nd Paragraph: This is the body of your letter and can be more than one paragraph long. In the body, you need to give specific examples of why you match the company and the job. Employers are looking to see that you are qualified for the position and then they look for fit within their organization. Give at least one example and no more than two. Your cover letter should not exceed one page, but it should be persuasive. Remember, you are trying to market yourself and this is a “sales piece” on why they should hire you.
3rd Paragraph: Your closing needs to be STRONG! Don’t let them doubt that you would make a good candidate. Here you want to mention that you feel you are a great fit for the position and look forward to further discussing this opportunity. Let them know that you will call to follow up on your resume at a specific time to answer any questions. This lets them know that you are VERY interested in the position, and you MUST call them and follow up.
**Double check: Did every sentence in your cover letter start with “I”, if so then rewrite the sentence structures.***
FOLLOW UP is the most important step of finding a position. This gives you the opportunity to learn about the hiring process, lets you know if they received your resume and could get you the interview. This is where so many unemployed drop the ball; there are so many qualified candidates looking for positions that you have to set yourself apart, and what better way than to demonstrate persistence and follow through. NO, you are not being a pest. There is a great saying “Persistence Prevails When All Else Fails.” Most employers will expect you to call and if you say you are going to call and don’t, you are unlikely to get an interview.
For cover letter writing help visit the Career Services Office, call 317.278.4113.