Midwest Professional Woman's Group Blog

Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group

How to Write a Good Introduction (Cover) Letter

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on August 18, 2010

A cover letter is your introduction, it’s the first thing the person who screens your resume looks at.  It’s your chance to make a good first impression.

A cover letter as with any other business letter  has letterhead or your contact information typed at the top. Your contact information is  your: name, street address, phone number, and email address.

Include the date you are writing the letter and keep track of where and when you apply for positional for your personal record.

In business letters you always include the company you are writing address, If you have a contact person use  his /her name, and their job title should go under the name of the company.

Company

Name, Job title

Street address

City, State, zip code

The hello for a letter is the dear and since a cover letter is a formal introduction there should be a colon(:) after the person who the letter is addressed to name.  If  you don’t know the name of the contact person use some general title like sir/madam, hiring  manger or human resources.

The first paragraph of your letter should state your purpose.  The purpose of your cover  letter is to express your interest in the position and  get more information about a specific job by securing an interview. A focused  cover letter engages the reader and draws attention to key aspects of your resume.  Use this opportunity to show  your knowledge about the company and  it’s industry.

The focus of the second paragraph should contain the answer to the question “Why should I hire you?” Discuss your qualifications.  Promote yourself, write about your career highlights.  This section of the your letter gives you  a chance to explain work history issues such as: gaps in employment  and  lack of direct experience.

In the third paragraph let them know you want the interview, and are looking for a follow-up response from the company.

Don’t forget to close your letter, not closing is like hanging up the phone and not letting the other party know the conversation has ended. In  business correspondence closing word are : Sincerely, Thank you, Very truly yours.   Be sure and capitalize the first letter in the first word only and end with a coma.

Like homework when you were in school you don’t want to turn in your cover letter without your name on it. Type your name . Leave room to sign your name. There are always four spaces between the close and your signature line. If you print your cover letter and mail or fax it sign  it. If you are sending e-mail a signature is not required.

Don’t forget to proof read and spell check before send  snail mail ( postal service or electronically ( fax and email).

Reprinted from The People’s Employment Journal

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