Cover letters are an additional component of a résumé. Customize every letter to each company and/or position of interest. Address it to the person listed in the position advertisement, or the person that you know has the authority to hire. Finding this may take some investigation to discover if the name is not announced in the position advertisement. P.O. boxes are often used to filter résumés, and you can find the owner of the box by calling the post office and asking who owns the box with that number. Having this information to address the cover letter with will set you apart from those who do not.
Cover Letter Format
- Employers Name: Use the name of the person stated in the job posting or contact the company for the contact person, address and
- the correct spelling)
- Position or title:
- Company Name
- Suite number or floor (if there is one)
- City, state, Zip
Dear: Mr. or Ms. Or Dear Sir or Madam (use the last name only of the person you listed above) If you have made every effort to find out but do not know the name or gender or the individual, use a unisex greeting of Dear Manager, or Dear Director.
Paragraph one: (Introduction)
State which position you are applying for and where you heard about the opening. If the position was advertised, refer to where it was advertised. (Indianapolis Star or highered.com) Be enthusiastic and confident about the position, with a brief statement about why you are the right fit for the job.
Paragraph two: (Body)
Explain why you want to work for this company and how your skills, experience, and qualifications directly relate to the position. You can also include your personal traits and strengths that would be an asset for the job. Summarize why you are an excellent candidate for the position. Highlight key examples and how they match what the company is seeking. There are likely other prospective employees that are competing for this position. It is very important that you highlight qualities that will set you apart and show uniqueness. You are marketing yourself in this paragraph, so be sure to sell the idea that you are the best one to interview, and the best fit for this employer. Most advertisements will list the requirements that are desired and/or required for the position. Be sure to detail how you meet each of those requirements. Do not point out to the reader if there is a requirement that you don’t currently possess, just do not reference that in your letter. The purpose of a cover letter is to highlight the positives and do not bring up any negatives.
Paragraph three: (Conclusion)
State that you would like the opportunity to personally discuss your qualifications. Indicate where you can be reached, phone and/or email. A good sentence to use would look like, “I may be reached at 555-555-1234 or firstname.lastname@example.org”. Make sure to thank the reader for their time and consideration.
Closing: Sincerely or Yours truly or Respectfully yours,
Signature (blue or black ink only)
Your Name (Typed)