Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Resume Week II - The Cover Letter

As job seekers we are constantly asked to submit our resumes to various employers and after submitting that ridiculous amount of resumes (100+) we wonder why we haven't received a call back? Is your resume missing something? If you are submitting it without a cover letter you are missing a key element to getting that interview.

Most job seekers don't submit cover letters when applying for a job. They just submit that same boring old resume on cheap copy paper. A cover letter helps you stand out from the rest. It grabs the readers attention because you took the extra effort to write one and it gives you a chance to illustrate why you will be valuable to their company.

When you write your cover letter the first paragraph should mention the job title, the source in which you found the job listing and a few of your skills. In the second paragraph you sell yourself using skills that you possess that match a few of the skills mentioned in the job requirements. Use the same words they used in your letter. Lastly, your final paragraph should be a follow up paragraph mentioning your resume, and welcoming the chance for an interview.

The following is an example of a cover letter:

First take a look at this job description:

Job Description:

Duties for the administrative assistant position include but are not limited to: general office and clerical work, data entry services, online research, coordination of meetings, and projecting a professional business image through direct phone and email interaction with our company’s clients and customers.

Now here's an example of how a cover letter can be written for this position:

Dear Human Resources Department,

I read with interest about the Administrative Assistant position on [Job Source]. With my 6 years of office work experience I feel I make an excellent candidate for the position your company is offering.

I am a self starter that can multi-task with ease. I have recently updated my MS Office skills and I have superior online research skills. I have a professional demeanor where I am capable of reflecting a positive image for your company through phone, email, and direct interaction with your clients.

I welcome the opportunity for an interview for the Administrative Assistant position. I have attached my resume for your review. I look forward to meeting with you in the near future.


[Your Name]
[Your Phone Number]
As you can see the cover letter used the skills needed in the job requirements to capture the attention of the employer. The writer sold their skills and with this cover letter style this will persuade the reader to look at your resume. Never mention your resume until the end of the letter because if you mention it prematurely the employer will not read your entire cover letter -- As soon as you mention the resume they will turn to it.

Remember to include your letter head on both your resume and cover letter. Run a spell check to correct any spelling or grammar errors, then have 2 friends read your letter over to catch any errors that wasn't caught. Reread your letter over once more out loud to make sure it is absolutely perfect. Also remember to use correct punctuation.

Make sure you tune in tomorrow to learn how to make your resume stand out even more than the other applicants.

Happy Hunting Tampa and Happy 2008!

Samara Bowling

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