Business Cover Letters

Cover Letter/Application Letters

Many people spend a lot of time writing their resumé, but treat the cover letter as an afterthought. Wrong! The cover letter is the first impression the potential employer has of you and often determines whether or not you get an interview. A little less formal, the cover letter offers the opportunity to share your personality and writing skills, while still focusing on the employer's needs.

Purpose

Use the cover letter to introduce yourself and your resumé, indicate your knowledge of and interest in the company and the position, and explain briefly what you have to offer. As you conclude, request an interview so you discuss these things further.

Various Types

Specific Letter: In response to an advertised position. Tailor your letter to the specific requirements listed in the advertisement.

Search-Firm Letter: Targeted to a number of selected search firms or employment agencies. You should focus on your specific qualifications and skills, the type of position you are seeking, and the type of industry. Highlight your most impressive accomplishments and attributes. If you have preferences or requirements, these should be indicated as well.

Unsolicited Letters: Seeking employment with a company where a position has not been posted. This type of letter should be used after researching companies for whom you would like to work. Show that you have knowledge about the company and the relevant qualifications and skills to benefit the company. 

Guidelines  

  • Always accompanies the resumé
  • Addresses a specific person with name spelled correctly
  • Typed on paper matching your resumé
  • Identifies the area/specific position for which you are applying
  • Explains how you learned of the position
  • Highlights your prime qualifications as they relate to the position
  • Requests a reply and the opportunity for a personal interview
  • Is a single page, readable, error free and grammatically correct. Be original

Learn as much as possible about the company and the requirements of the position. Make sure your cover letter is tailored specifically to the company you are addressing. You can obtain information about many large companies from directories available in most libraries or from the company’s annual report. And, remember, cover letters are never apologetic or negative and do not include salary information. In addition, don't start too many sentences with "I. . ." Watch your sentence structure.