Your cover letter is a personal introduction which should generate interest in your background and qualifications. It demonstrates your fit for the specific position and must be tailored each time your write one. Great cover letters require time, planning, and effort.
Meet with Career Services for general feedback and to fine tune your resumes and cover letters for the specific opportunities you seek.
Sample resumes and letters, interviewing tips and more!
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For an Effective Cover Letter
- Research the industry/field/company.
- Target your message and recipients carefully.
- Highlight your strengths relative to the employer's needs.
- Express confidence and enthusiasm.
Parts of a Cover Letter
ADDRESS AND SALUTATION
Address each cover letter to a specific person, whenever possible. If you are not sure of the gender of the addressee, use the full name: Dear Terry Smith, rather than Mr. Smith or Ms. Smith. If you cannot obtain the name, address the letter to the position of the recruiter, e.g., Dear Human Resources Director.
INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH: Why are you writing?
The initial paragraph establishes the purpose of the letter and should indicate the position for which you are applying. Consider following this information with a positive statement about your qualification for the position.
BODY PARAGRAPH(S): What do you have to offer?
This is the place to emphasize any special skills or training that might set you apart from the competition. Focus your message on the benefits to the organization that your qualifications offer.
CLOSING PARAGRAPH: What happens next?
In the final paragraph, restate your interest in the position and refer to the enclosed resume. Explain your next course of action, and thank the reader for considering your application.
Once completed, every cover letter should be proofread not once, but many times (by you and at least two other people). Perfection in grammar, spelling and neatness truly count here.
Critique by E-mail
A face to face (or phone) meeting about your resume or cover letter is ideal. However, if you live outside Lincoln or cannot meet during regular office hours, a career counselor can provide feedback via e-mail. Send your resume and/or cover letter with a job description or brief explanation of what it will be used for. Allow 3 business days for response.
Increasingly, connecting with employers is done electronically, which presents new challenges to the job seeker. Consider the following guidelines as you manage your on-line job search. More...