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How To: Write a Cover Letter

Work in Progress
by

Medhat Sedarose

on 2 March 2015

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Transcript of How To: Write a Cover Letter

HOW TO:
Write a Cover Letter that will stand out from the crowd
THE HEADER
The Header on your cover letter should match the one used for the resume. Much like a company letterhead, everything you send out should be uniform.
Your Name, which should be the biggest thing on the page
Your full address
A professional email address. The best way to do this is to simply use
FirstnameLastname@provider.com
A single phone number. The best one to reach you at most of the time.
A URL for your
LinkedIn
and/or an online portfolio
Required in the Header are:
The Date
The Date is the simplest part of the cover letter. But don't make the mistake of sending one in with the wrong date.

If you send a cover letter in on the 20th of July, and the date on the letter is May, that is a problem.
Recipient Name & Title
As often as possible find out WHO EXACTLY will be the person looking at your application, and what their title is.
It shows that you have done your research.

If it is not possible, address the application to "Hiring Manager" or "Hiring Committee".

Include the company information, and ensure that the address you use is the correct one for the company.
RE: Regarding
This section is optional. If used, this is where you would put in the position which you are applying for and a competition / job number, if the company has one listed.

Introduction
The Introductory paragraph for a cover letter should clearly and succinctly answer the following:


What - What position are you applying to?
(This can be left out if you've put in the RE: section, explained above)

Create a connection with the job/department/or employer as a whole.
If you've been referred to the position by someone in the company, or some other source that would be trusted in that company, or by the specific person reading your resume, this is where you mention it. Name Dropping someone they know and trust creates an instant connection.
Conclusion
The concluding paragraph, no matter which format you used, should tie everything together.

You've highlighted several reasons why you would be successful in the position, showing your strengths and why you would fit with the company.
Reiterate all of that here!

Thank the reader for their time and
consideration.
Conclusion

Ask for the interview!
As simple as that sounds, one should still take the opportunity to do it. Request an opportunity to further discuss your qualifications.

Finish by providing follow up information;
Will you be contacting them or waiting for their response?
What is the best way to contact you and when?

Sign off with a "Sincerely, "

As often as possible, actually SIGN the cover letter.


Things to Avoid
Do not copy text from your resume. You should be covering some of the same things, but do not use the same wording. It looks lazy, and is very obvious when it happens

Do not get too personal in the cover letter. This is a professional document and should be written as such.

Do not waste space writing things in the cover letter which are not relevant to the position being applied for. Focus on skills and strengths they are looking for. If something unrelated showcases related transferable skills that is acceptable.

Do not go over the 1 page limit. Use your space wisely.
Things to Remember
You should send a cover letter 100% of the time when applying for jobs. It may only be read 50% of the time, but you still need to send it.

Like your resume, you should have a different cover letter for each application. Research & Specifics can work wonders.

As with anything else in the job search process, lying is unacceptable, even embellishing what you've done should never be done.

No matter which format you choose, what is most important is putting in content that will set you apart from the competition. Formatting can be changed and adapted once you've got solid content highlighting your achievements.

Your cover letter, like your resume, will NOT get you a job. It is a tool to help you get an interview, by setting you apart from the other applicants.

Don't forget to spell check and
PROOF READ
!!!
The reader to easily identify the position
Easy ability to reference the posting
It allows:
RE: Regarding
If you choose not to include RE:, the information can be put into the first paragraph/introduction for the cover letter.
Introduction
Questions the introduction answers, continued:


Why - Why are you applying to this position with this company?
This is where you can do some research, and show your interest in the company.
Find some recent news articles about something interesting they are doing, or look into the mission & vision, etc. This will show genuine interest in the company and show that you've put in the work.
Full transcript