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Copy of Writing Brief Cover Letters Workshop

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Deanna Mabe

on 18 February 2016

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Transcript of Copy of Writing Brief Cover Letters Workshop

Job Posting - Applying to a specific position that is open.
Writing Brief Cover Letters
Salary Requirements
Understand the Purpose of Cover Letters
Identify Different Types of Cover Letters
Learn How to Structure Cover Letters
Provide Cover Letter Tips
Goals of this Workshop
Purpose of Cover Letters
Why you’re good at what you do
HIGHLIGHT your qualifications for the job
Address it to a specific person
1-page in length, 3-4 paragraphs
Paragraph 1: Intro/Fit
Paragraph 2-3: Outline Education/Experience
Paragraph 4: Conclusion
Cover Letter Basics
Types of Cover Letters
If they request it, give a range (and indicate flexibility)
Research entry-level salaries for similar positions:

Follow application instructions - pay attention to details.
Last Minute Tips

Elements of a Cover Letter

Underline keywords in job description

Link experiences to keywords

Figure out what appeals to you

Check for contact (Alumnae Hub/Linkedin)

Note specific cover letter requirements
Preparing to Write a Cover Letter

Putting your research to work:
The best cover letters express:
Enthusiasm for the position
How you’ll help the employer
Letter of Inquiry: Contact an employer to ask about openings.
I am writing to inquire about any special education teaching openings that may be available for Fall 2014.
Letter of Referral: Using the name of a person in your network.
Dr. Bruce Brown, Professor of Business at Wytheville Community College, suggested I contact you regarding an internship opening within the Management Trainee Program.
GENERATE interest in you and your resume
PREPARE you for an interview
ANSWER why an employer should hire you
SHOWCASE writing/communication skills
DEMONSTRATE knowledge about the position and the company
Job Posting: Applying to a specific posted position.
I was pleased to read of your opening for a Personal Assistant advertised on the website of the Career Center at Wytheville Community College.
Outline your qualifications for the role.

Think of examples where you can demonstrate you have what they want.

Incorporate keywords/company language into your writing.
As a Citizen Outreach Director for the Fund, you run a campaign office in one of dozens of cities throughout the country. The staff you supervise educates citizens about issues and gets them involved in campaigns to win progressive change. In essence, you build a team of committed activists who, in turn, mobilize hundreds or thousands of citizens to take action.

U.S. PIRG is standing up to powerful special interests and cutting wasteful subsidies that encourage unhealthy eating. The Human Rights Campaign is fighting bigotry to protect the civil rights of all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation. Environment America is working to restore the Clean Water Act and keep our rivers, lakes, and streams protected for future generations. We are looking for candidates to join us as Canvass Directors and Telephone Outreach Directors.

TRAINING: Staff will participate in an intensive, paid training program for the first four weeks of the job. Trainings are held on an ongoing basis—and for students graduating this year, the training will start in July. This initial training focuses on staff management and canvassing and also includes sections on campaign strategy, media and public speaking. All staff participate in additional regional trainings and staff meetings throughout the year.

We are looking for smart, motivated, action-oriented college graduates who are interested in
politics and have a commitment to public interest issues. To do this work, you need stamina.
You need to be able to convey the sense of urgency and passion you feel about these issues. You
need to be able and willing to work hard. You need to be resourceful on a shoestring budget.
(In-depth training on issues, campaign strategies and skills is provided.)
Staff Management
• Recruit and manage a campaign staff of 10-40 canvassers or callers.
• Teach effective canvassing and campaigning techniques to staff.
• Teach staff to run local campaigns and run staff meetings and leadership trainings.
• Arrange briefings and issue workshops to educate and motivate staff.
• Evaluate staff performance and give ongoing feedback.
Campaign Strategies
• Run letter-writing or petition drives to state legislators, local government, corporate boards and congressional representatives.
• Build coalitions of local and state organizations and elected officials.
• Identify and organize local activists into networks for quick political action.
• Attract media coverage for campaigns. Send out news releases, hold news conferences and meet with editorial boards to release research, expose problems and promote solutions.
Canvassing and Field Work
• Reach or exceed your office’s fundraising and membership goals.
• Canvass door-to-door, by telephone or in public places three times each week.
• Oversee fundraising, development, campaign work and office management.
Use WCC Resources (Resume Guide, Feedback on Resume/Cover Letter Drafts, etc.)
Save files so they are easily identifiable:
Always write a cover letter even if it says “optional”.
Paper/font should match resume.
Use same header as your resume.
Appearance and style counts - spelling, grammar, voice.
Address it to the right person.
Incorporate keywords from the job posting.
Thank you for coming to our Workshop!

Make it Happen!
Reiterate interest in position.
Request action to be taken:
Ask for an interview!
If you plan to follow up - state this (and then do so).
Make clear how you can be contacted: Phone/Email
Thank the reader for their time/consideration.
Select 3 qualifications to highlight
Avoid a lot of first person voice:
“I did…”, “I have…”, or “I want…”
Focus on YOU!
Use examples to bring resume to life
Show how qualifications match needs
Body (2-3 Paragraphs)
Am I Bragging?

Bragging = making exaggerated or unsupported claims:
“No other candidate you see will be able to surpass me in writing ability or motivation.”

Marketing = highlighting supportable skills/qualifications:

Be sensitive to industry (Sales is more aggressive than Education)

Make an Impression!
State why you are writing:
Position you are applying to
Where you learned about the position
Basic reason for interest - show knowledge bout employer
Use name when possible -- Dear Ms./Mrs./Mr./Dr. (Name):
Focus on Employer -- Not You!
Before You Start...
How to prepare:
Research the employer and position:
What is their mission?
What service/product do they provide?
Size? History? Workforce? (LinkedIn)
What are they looking for in a candidate?
“I worked extensively with X club, writing effective promotional material to draw students to our events while also keeping up with my studies and graduated with honors in my major.”
Useful Resource
Make the Connection!
Use resume header at top of cover letter
Include date you are sending it
Month Day, Year
Include Name and Address of Employer
Proof and Send
Proofread! Don’t rely on Microsoft Word…and have another person take a look at it!
Follow application
instructions to submit.
If submitting via email:
Use a clear yet attention-grabbing subject line
Save as a pdf format
Be sure to attach all required documents

WCC Resources
Get cover letter assistance from trained career assistants or counselors!

Deanna Mabe 276-223-4102
Chris Robinson 276-223-4898
Margaret Hollingsworth 276-744-4982
Mary Ann Halsey 276-744-4974
“Funded by a U.S. Department of Labor ETA grant award. This announcement is the creation of the grantee and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the USDOL.”

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