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Preparing Your Cover Letter

Types of cover letters

Application Letter
Use an application letter to apply for a specific job posting.  Clearly address how your skills and experience match the requirements of the position.

Prospecting Letter
This letter is used when you are interest in working for a specific company, but have not seen any positions posted. Demonstrate your knowledge of the company by describing how your qualifications and skills will contribute to their company.

Networking Letter
The letter is used to generate an information interview with a specific person.

Tips for writing an effective cover letter

  1. Use a standard business format
  2. Always address your letter to a specific individual with his/her correct title and business address.
  3. Tailor your letter to the needs of the company and requirements of the position.  Include specific examples or facts.
  4. Organize your information for the reader; write clearly and simply.  State the position that you are applying form,  your strengths as they apply to the position and request an interview
  5. Avoid jargon and overly complex sentences.
  6. Use active voice and action verbs in your writing; vary sentence structure and length.
  7. Be positive in content, tone, word choice and expectations.  Convey confidence; avoid “I hope, I think”.
  8. Produce error-free, clean copy on laser printer.  Don’t depend on spell-check!
  9. Use high-quality stationery and envelopes.
  10. Keep the letter to one page.  Avoid repeating contents of resume; add new information.

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