Cover Letter Tips
Good cover letters are as important to the job search as résumés! A cover letter introduces you to a potential employer and gives you an opportunity to sell yourself as a candidate who is a "good fit" for the position. Employers often will read your cover letter before your resume, so a well-written and effective cover letter can be very important to creating a good first impression.
Your cover letter is a one-page marketing tool that should highlight your skills and qualifications, your desire to work for that employer, and reasons why you are a "good fit" for that position. A powerful cover letter will connect your background to the specific job for which you are applying. In addition to summarizing your qualifications, it also can demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively. Whenever possible, submit a cover letter with your resume - it provides another opportunity to sell yourself and could give you the advantage over another candidate.
COVER LETTER TIPS
· Write concise, punchy sentences.
· Use action instead of passive tense.
· Vary sentence structure (10-15 words in length -20 words maximum).
· Use a conversational yet professional tone.
· Avoid starting every sentence with "I".
· Keep letter to one page in length (3-4 paragraphs).
· Avoid using the same terms or phrases repeatedly.
· Edit carefully. Read it aloud to check for cadence and flow of sentences.
· Write a draft, set it aside and then take a fresh look at it.
· Proof it yourself, ask a friend to proof it, and then ask Career Center staff to review it.
· Remember your audience-a busy employer!