Cover Letter Tips

January 22, 2010 at 9:16 pm (PRCA 3711) ()

     This week’s blog topic for my PR Practicum class is cover letter tips. I have looked at different websites for advice on how to properly write a good cover letter. The first place I looked at was Professor Nixon’s blog post on her website,  http://publicrelationsmatters.com/2009/09/17/resumes-that-resonate-revisited/. This post emphasized how important it is to avoid  overuse of words like “I” and “my”. Instead the post recommended staying ‘company focused’ in your cover letter. The blog also provided advice on how to correctly address your cover letter. It stated that you should not begin with the phrase “To whom it may concern…”. You should address the cover letter to either the name or title of the hiring manager.

    The second place I looked for tips was  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/CoverLetter_13348_7.pdf  This article mentions that your resume’s cover letter can serve as a marketing tool. The article then goes on to say that your cover letter should consist of three main parts. The first part is where you state the position you are applying for, also mention how you heard about it and why you are interested in applying for it.  The second part of your cover letter is where you should mention why you are the best person for the job. You should mention your personal skills that will give to the job and the company. The article says that in this part of your cover letter, you should also mention your characteristics and part experiences that will show your qualifications. The third part of your letter is your closing paragraph.  This is where you thank your potential employer for overlooking your resume and considering you for the job. You should also provide a phone number where you can be reached.

    Some additional tips the above article mentioned is to make sure you remember to sign your name at the bottom. You should use a standard business letter format that coördinates with your resumé. Your font size is anywhere from 10pt. to 14pt. Your cover letter should only have print on one side of the paper. The color of your cover letter should be white or off-white. You should avoid jargon and grammatical errors. Finally, the article advises that you use terms that apply to the employer.

     After reading about cover letters I have a better understanding of how important they are. They can really enhance a resume. The cover letter is the frist part of your resumé that a potential employer will see. It is the first impression of you that they will see. This is why it is vital to make sure that you have a good, strong cover letter. If your cover letter is sloppy, or poorly constructed your employer might toss your name out as a potential employee without even glancing at your resumé. If you can’t take the time to build a good cover letter then why would they take you seriously as a dedicated and hard worker? I have learned a lot more about how to properly build a cover letter, and I will keep these tips in mind when it is time for me to write my cover letter.

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