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Writing An Effective Cover Letter

By Edited Jul 15, 2016 1 0

Business Writing

When applying for a job, you are going to need an effective cover letter to show your experience and interest in that specific job. A cover letter is like a sales pitch, you want to market your different abilities, skills and expertise. When informing your potential employer about you attributes, you want to make sure that the things you are “selling” pertain to the job you are applying for. There are four major tasks you should focus on when creating a cover letter: (1) personal introduction, getting your recruiter interested by selling your skills and how you can benefit the company; (2) explain to the recruiter which job interest you most and why;(3) convinces the reader that you have the qualification for the job;(4) request an interview.

So today I am going to focus on how you can implement these different ideas into your Introduction, Body and Conclusion. I am going to provide you an example that will be italicized, this way you can differ the example and the content of the article. I am going to be applying for a position that is focused on sales and marketing. I am going to be using information that doesn’t apply to me. This information will be used as an example, so you can better understand my ideas.

Opening Paragraph

When first introducing yourself, you want to inform the employer how you heard of the job opening. If you have been referred by someone, make sure to include their name and position, if applicable. You want to include the specific job position or title you are applying for. Employers have many openings and application they must go through. They don’t know which position you are applying for if you don’t specify. Explain why you have an interest in the company. They don’t want to hire someone who just fills out numerous résumés and has no knowledge or interest in the company. This leads to the final point, research and understand the company. If interviewed, they will ask you question about the company specifically.

Below is an example of an opening paragraph I wrote:

A member of your marketing team, Jacob Donaldson, informed me that you are recruiting marketing professionals for your marketing research team. I am writing to apply for the position of Lead Marketing Researcher. I am very interested in your position because of my passion for marketing and automotive vehicles. It has been a career goal of mine to work for Ford Motor Company and grow the business from the position it is in. Having owned and worked with Ford vehicles in the past, I understand the passion and importance of furthering and growing the Ford image.

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Body Paragraph

This is the meat to your sandwich, the PB&J or the most important part of your Cover Letter. The body gives the employer a reason to hire you. You really need to focus on creating a well written and selling body paragraph. The body of your letter is either one or two paragraphs, depending on your experience and knowledge. You want to limit each paragraph to one main point. For example, the first paragraph should focus on job experience, while the second will focus on your education achievements. You want to inform the reader that you are qualified while showing them. If you got a degree in business management, show them how it could implement to a position as “Project Manager”. Give the company a reason why they should hire you over someone else. How can your education and expertise be a necessity for them?

Below I have added the 2nd and 3rd paragraph written by me in the same cover letter:

I bring great marketing skills to show consumers that they should be using our products. As you will see in my résumé, I have great past experience in the marketing field. I have grown company XYZ tremendously by working with a group of individuals to better sell our ideas. We would stay ahead of the game by consistently coming up with innovative and game changing ideas. In my last position I managed a team of individuals to try and convince people why they need “X” product in their life. We were voted the #1 marketing team by the CEO and received a substantial amount of funds to further educate and advance in the industry.

Pursuing degrees in Entrepreneurship and Marketing has prepared me well to change how Ford Motor Company markets their company. Throughout varied courses, stated in my résumé, I have gained great knowledge that prepares me how to run a business and how to market its products.  I have an open mind that is willing to learn anything to further my education and to benefit the company. I look forward to applying this knowledge and expertise at Ford Motor Company.

Closing Paragraph

In the final paragraph you want to request an interview. Don’t be demanding and don’t tell the recruiter you deserve an interview. Give the reader an email address and phone number to contact you, even if they have your email or phone number, include both. They could lose or misplace either and prevent them from getting a hold of you. You also want to keep an open schedule for when you’re available to interview. I saw a cover letter that said, “I am available Tuesdays and Thursdays before 10pm”. An employer might not take the time to give you a call if you are only available certain days and hours. Finally, end with a statement of good will, such as “Thank You”.

Below I have included the final paragraph of my cover letter:

I would appreciate the opportunity to interview with you at your earliest convince. If you have questions or would like additional information contact me at (123)-456-7890 or email me at bob@email.com. I want to thank you for your time.

In Conclusion

When writing a cover letter it’s important to sell yourself. The employer wants someone that has the right education and expertise in the field. They don’t want to waste their time hiring someone who doesn’t have the right qualifications. If you follow this short guide, it will increase your likely hood of receiving an interview from the company.

I want to inform you of one last thing before you get back to creating your cover letter. Review your cover letter inside and out as much as possible. Recruiters will find anything they can to throw out an application from the endless pile. Anything from a misspelled word to a grammatical error can ruin your chances of being hired. 

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Bibliography

  1. Walter E. Oliu; Charles T. Brusaw; Gerald J. Alred Writing That Works. Boston: Bedford, 2013.

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