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Cover Letter Writing Guide

What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a document sent with your resume to provide additional information on your skills and experience. It explains the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identifies your most relevant skills or experiences.

Cover Letter Pattern

Date
Contact’s Name
Contact’s Job Title
Organization Name
P. O. Box:
City

Dear Mr. or Ms. (person’s last name only): If you know the contact’s name

Dear Sir/Madam: If you don’t know the contact’s name

Paragraph 1: State immediately the position you are seeking and how you came to know of the opening. Tell the employer briefly (one or two sentences) why you are interested in this position.

Paragraph 2: Highlight your achievements and problem-solving skills. Show how your education and work skills are relevant, to the position for which you are applying.

Paragraph 3: Demonstrate that you have done some research about this organization by going to their website or talking to alumni or other contacts that may currently work for the organization. It shows that you have taken some time to think about this position and put some effort into this letter, which results in making a very good impression on employers.

Paragraph 4: State that you would welcome a personal interview to further discuss this opportunity. You might mention that if you do not hear anything from the potential employer in two to three weeks time, you will call to follow up this letter to see where they are in their process. Finish by thanking them for their attention and express a desire to meet them sometime in the near future.

Sincerely, 
Your signature (leave 4 blank spaces for this) 
Your name in print
 
Cover Letter Checklist
Before you send your cover letter, review the following checklist to make sure that you have covered all the basic information.
1.  The contact name and company name are correct.
2.  The letter is addressed to an individual, if possible.
3.  Letter mentions the position you are applying for and where it was advertised.
4.  Your personal information (name, address, home phone, cell phone, email) is all included and correct.
5.  If you have a contact at the company, you have mentioned him or her in the first paragraph.
6.  Letter is focused, concise, clear, neat, and well organized.
7.  If you have a gap in your employment history you have to explain it in your cover letter.
8.  Font is 10 or 12 points and easy to read (Times New Roman or Arial, for example).
9.  T​here are no spelling, grammatical or typographical errors.
10. You have read the cover letter out loud to make sure there are no missing words.
11. Cover Letter is printed on good quality bond paper that matches your resume.
12. You have kept a copy for your records.
13. Letter is signed if you are mailing it.
14. Resume and letter are mailed flat in a business envelope or neatly folded into thirds with the letter on top of the resume.