Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cover Letters: The Icing on the Cake

For the last few weeks, I have been relentlessly searching for an internship for the upcoming fall semester. During the entire process, I have come to understand and appreciate the importance of a cover letter and its pivotal role in my success in securing an internship.

I'll be the first to fess up that I used to find cover letters redundant and tedious. Having to sit down and write a cover letter that was tailored specifically to each individual company seemed so daunting and time consuming.

However, after reading numerous articles, tips and tricks for writing a successful cover letter, I used this advice to help write numerous cover letters, all of which have helped me distinguish myself from other applicants and have secured me a couple of interviews.

With my new-found respect for cover letters, I wanted to share with everyone some of the advice I applied to my own cover letters from Resume-Resource.

When writing a cover letter you should include the following:
1. The job you are applying for
2. How you found out about the job
3. Why you are interested in the position
4. What qualifies you to do the work
5. Examples of related achievements
6. A closing summary of your qualifications
7. Your desire to meet for an interview

Cover letters should be clear, concise, energetic and professional. Be sure to clarify what employers want to know:

1. Can you handle the responsibilities of the job?
2. Do you enjoy your work?
3. Are you a professional and will you fit in with my staff?

If your cover letter answers 'yes' to all of these questions than your resume will receive more than a simple glance.

Also, be sure to let your employer know that you are the best possible candidate for the position. Indicate how you will contribute immediately to current projects. Make sure you quantify your previous work. The entire purpose of a cover letter is to make yourself appealing to the prospective employer by showing your energy, enthusiasm, passion and professionalism.

So always remember to take your time, write several drafts and include all of the necessary information. Your resume may be incredible, but if your cover letter is a snooze, your desired first impression may fall a little flat.

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