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Resume and Cover Letter Guide: Cover Letter Content

Why Your are Writing

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Your cover letter should address three general issues:
  • First Paragraph - Why you are writing
  • Middle Paragraphs - What you have to offer
  • Concluding Paragraph - How you will follow-up

Why You Are Writing

In some cases, you may have been referred to a potential employer by a business acquaintance, a professor or friend. Be sure to mention this mutual contact, by name, up front since it is likely to encourage your reader to keep reading!

  • Jane Smith suggested that I write you concerning a position as a management trainee at your bank.

If you are writing in response to a job posting(sample cover letters), indicate where you learned of the position and the title of the position. More importantly, express your enthusiasm and the likely match between your credentials and the position’s qualifications.

  • Please accept my application for the Legal Assistant position you posted on Monster. I am confident that my background and skills will prove to be an effective match for your needs. I am anxious to speak with you about the position and our respective goals.
If you are writing a prospecting letter(sample prospecting letter) - a letter in which you inquire about possible job openings - state your specific job objective. Since this type of letter is unsolicited, it is even more important to capture the reader’s attention.
  • I recently read in ABC Trade Publication that your organization was awarded the 123 Federal Grant for environmental field studies. Since I will be graduating from XYZ University in May, I am anxious to continue my own geological field research full-time. I would like to discuss the work I have done and how it complements your projects.

If you are writing a networking letter (sample networking letter)to approach an individual for information, make your request clear.

  • I am most interested in talking with you about the field of book publishing to learn more about typical entry-level positions, recommended preparation, and necessary qualifications.

Next Page: What You Have to Offer

Resume and Cover Letter Guide: Table of Contents

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