Ways and Means

Cover Letters

That Win You An Interview
Cover letters are your opportunity to introduce yourself to the job recruiter, human resources representative, or your potential boss.  To increase your chances of securing an interview, write a great letter that highlights your skills, accomplishments, and who you are as a person.

What should I put in a cover letter?
Be sure to reference the position you are applying for in the first paragraph of your cover letter.  Also express your interest in your potential employer and why you would like to work there.

In the second paragraph, connect the dots from your skills to the requirements of the position. Even if you don’t have the exact match for the necessary skills, write about your strengths, e.g., managerial talents, operational abilities, people skills, ability to learn quickly on the job, and attention to detail.

In the third paragraph, thank the person for their time and interest in reviewing your resume.
Write that you look forward to hearing from them.

Your cover letter is an introduction, an indication of your interest in the position, and a summary of your skills.
It should be no longer than 3-4 paragraphs.
Remember that some potential employers are reading hundreds of cover letters.
Your strategy is to make yours easy to read and memorable.

Are email cover letters different than cover letters sent through the mail?
Both styles should include the key parts mentioned above and should be succinct.
The goal of the cover letter is to secure you a job interview.

What are the biggest mistake people make in writing cover letters?
One of the challenges with cover letters is telling your story in a clear and concise way.
Some people tell their life stories and their letters turn off their readers.
Others don’t check their spelling or punctuation and thus create a poor first impression that may eliminate them from consideration for interviews.

Sample Cover Letter: (view as pdf)