A cover letter is a narrative bridge between what you have to offer and what employers
indicate they need. A cover letter is a sales tool, to tell a potential employer what
you are applying for, why you are the best candidate for the job, and why you really
want to work for their organization.
HOW DO I USE A COVER LETTER?
Every resume you send out needs to
have a cover letter. Job postings do not typically require a cover
letter but it is still
important to write one because you are able to
use it as a tool to set yourself apart from your peers. Mail, email, or
a cover letter to all resumes and applications.
You can use a cover letter to apply for summer jobs, internships,
careers, scholarship applications, graduate
school applications, and to display in your portfolio.
READY TO GET STARTED?
- Research the job and employer - print off the job posting if there is one, review
the company website or articles about the company, or interview someone that works
- Create a skills required list - write down at least 20 skills this employer expects
you to possess. Use your research to assist you and then put yourself in the hiring
manager's shoes and write down what you would be looking for if you had the power
to hire. You are able to use a cover letter to be more specific with your skills
by using examples on your cover letter.
- Create your cover letter in a blank Word document, it will be easier to update and
revise than a template.
- Review your resources and start writing.
- Have someone proof-read your cover letter.
- Ensure that your letter is business format, error free, laser printed on quality paper which complements or matches your résumé. For an added touch, use a matching envelope
and send the cover letter and résumé in a full size 10 x 12 envelope.
- Self review your Cover Letter
WHAT DO I INCLUDE?
- Professional business letter format that includes your unique resume heading, date,
and employer address
- Greeting should be to a specific person. Give a quick phone call if needed. If you
can't get a personal name, skip the greeting.
- First Paragraph – what job are you applying for, where did you see/hear about it,
and one sentence about why you are great candidate.
- Second Paragraph – Why are you uniquely the best candidate for the job and why do
you really want to work for this specific organization.
- Third Paragraph - Thank the person reviewing your information and information about
how to contact you or how you are going to contact them.
WHERE DO I FIND ADDITIONAL HELP?
- Use Online resources - www.careerbuilder.com; www.collegerecruiter.com, or use a search engine to find cover letter examples for your specific career.
- Get resources by walking into the Career Services office anytime between
8 AM – 5:00 PM M-F
- You may receive a cover letter critique by emailing your request to: Careerservices@ferris.edu. If it is for a specific position include: the job posting, cover letter and your