Why write a cover letter? A cover letter is used to communicate your qualifications to potential employers. The job search process involves your ability to write and speak effectively. A cover letter introduces you to the reader and tells the reader why you are sending your résumé. It also states what position you are interested in. Most importantly, the cover letter gives you an opportunity to sell yourself.
UCS provides Job Search workshops, website addresses and other job search information, including material on cover letters. Schedules are available on the second floor of Alumni Hall, and at the University Center Information Desk on the third floor.
A Successful Cover Letter Always:
- Responds to the interest and needs of the audience.
- Is written with interest and care on a single page.
- Indicates how you will be an asset to the employer; evokes him/her to become interested in your candidacy.
- States why you are a candidate for a specific position.
- Is written by you and should be authentic in both style and content.
- Is an expression of you rather than that of sample cover letters.
- Presents ideas succinctly and in a positive manner.
- Is written with a clear purpose, flows logically and uses proper transitions
- Makes a good impression on the reader and is visually appealing.
- Contains three main parts: the introduction, the body and the closing.
- Use high quality paper. Use paper that matches your résumé.
- Do not exceed one page.
- No more than 4-5 lines per paragraph.
- Always type the return address and mailing address on the mailing envelope.
- Retain a copy of correspondence for your records.
- Produce an error free cover letter, correct misspelled words and grammatical errors.
Georgia State University
Ms. Jane Doe
999 Main Boulevard
Any City, State 00000
Dear Ms. Doe:
FIRST PARAGRAPH – State the reason you are writing, identify the specific position or type of work for which you are applying, indicate from which source you learned of the opening. Grab the reader’s attention in the first paragraph compelling the reader to continue reading the entire letter. (1) refer to a personal contact you made, (2) add some relevant information about the school system, (3) state your qualifications, i.e. major, degree, area of certification.
SECOND PARAGRAPH – This paragraph gives you the opportunity to sell your skills to an employer. Write about you! Discuss your personal qualities, skills, knowledge, training, experiences and achievements which are relevant to this position. Put yourself in the employers shoes and ask yourself, (1) Why should I hire this person?, (2) What can he/she do for me?, (3) Why is this candidate different from the other applicant?
CLOSING PARAGRAPH – Request an interview. Let the employer know you will be following up with a phone call to arrange a meeting. Take initiative, you are the person looking for a job.
Your Name enc.
You can also call 404-413-1820 for dates, times, and location.