Please read the following information before writing a cover letter.
The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce yourself and your resume. It is an opportunity to match your qualifications with the qualifications of the position for which you are applying.
The covering letter is the first impression that an employer will have of you. Since first impressions are lasting, the covering letter is important. Make the letter neat and you will project an image of being organized. Eliminate spelling and grammatical errors and you will come across as being attentive to detail. The content of the letter and the impression you leave will determine whether or not you get an interview, or a “we’ll keep your letter on file”.
Make sure your cover letter;
- is addressed to a specific person, not a title
- is no more than 1 page
- shows concern and pride for your profession
- is typed, not handwritten
- demonstrates energy and enthusiasm
- maintains balance between professionalism and friendliness
- indicates where you can be reached
- refers to qualifications and skills applicable to the job you are seeking
- describes personality traits that make you stand out
- indicates your interest by indicating that you will follow up the letter with a phone call
Whenever possible apply the following guidelines:
- substitute short words for long words and one word where there are two
- keep your average sentence length close to 17 words
- keep paragraph length to five lines or shorter
- make sure your sentences begin with or contain action words
- if you are in a technical field, eliminate as much jargon as possible
Try using the action words from the following list
- achieved, assessed, coordinated, developed, exhibited, improved, maintained
- organized, presented, researched, supported, was promoted, administered
- conducted, created, edited, expanded, initiated, managed, oversaw, processed
- sold, synthesized, analyzed, contracted, designed, evaluated, implemented
- invented, operated, prepared, reduced, supervised, trained
Here is an example of a cover letter. Yours may be more or less detailed than the example. For more help on writing a cover letter, make an appointment at the Career Centre.