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Resume Tips

Writing a Cover Letter
By Sayaka Seino
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When applying for a job, your job application and resume should always be accompanied by a cover letter. A cover letter is your chance to let the potential employer know exactly how you fit the job description, what you have to offer, and what your goals are. It can make or break your chance at an interview. Therefore, it is important that the cover letter be well-written, well-organized, and thoroughly proofread.

One important thing to remember if you are applying for multiple jobs is that each cover letter should be specifically tailored to the company you are applying to. This means no mass mailing of the same exact cover letter. Your potential employers will be able to tell if it isn't personal, which will most likely result in them having no interest in hiring you. Your best chance for an interview and getting hired is if you write a fresh cover letter for each job to which you apply. Many of the cover letters will contain the same information, but there is nothing more valuable than letting your potential employer know you have written it especially for them.

In the first paragraph of your cover letter, you need to explain why you are writing and that you are interested in the job. It should include a thesis statement – the main idea of your cover letter. This statement should describe how valuable you are. It should also include what you have to offer the company, should you be given a position with them.

In the second and third paragraphs, you should back up your thesis statement with job responsibilities you've had as well as accomplishments from your career history. You can also talk about your education and volunteer experience. Even in only one or two paragraphs, it is important to remember that brevity is the goal.

The final paragraph of your cover letter should reiterate the thesis statement, typically in the first line. However, the rest of the paragraph should exude action. You should request that they call you to set up an interview. Be bold and assertive while simultaneously bring polite and courteous. Don't forget to thank them for their consideration. This is the last chance you will have to make a good impression on the person who is going to read your resume.

It is very important that the tone of your cover letter is right for the job. Take the time to learn about the various jobs requirements and research the specific companies before you apply to them. A cover letter sent to the CEO of a large company would be very different from a cover letter sent to the owner of an auto parts store. You should always be positive and formal, but if you know the place you're applying to is very casual, you might have a leg up in using a more casual voice. It's up to you to make these decisions, but the more planning and thought you put into your cover letter, the more interest the employer will have in you as a future employee.

Thus, the cover letter is not a thing to be taken lightly. In fact, it should be written with the utmost care and preparation as it could be the determining factor in whether or not you will be considered for a job. With a cover letter that gets you noticed and a well prepared resume, you are on the right path to being successfully employed.


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