Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Cover Letters

Cover letters introduce a strong, well prepared resume and should be brief and to the point. They should not include with the same content as in the resume. This brief attention-grabbing tool is intended to be a sample of your business writing skills and an invitation to peruse your resume. 

Types of Cover Letters

The reason for contacting the company and who you are contacting will help determine the type of cover letter needed. Pay close attention to the specific requirements of the employer. One of the quickest ways to have your resume passed over is by not following the employer’s instructions. If the potential employer specifies the type of information they would like to see in your cover letter, be sure to include it. The following types of cover letters can be used to help secure the job you are seeking.

  • First-contact cover letter. This letter can be used when you are not applying for a particular job but are interested in a specific organization. You can introduce your skills to see if they might match a need. Although this type of cover letter may not produce a big response, if you send it at the right time, it could get into the hands of a decision-maker who may contact you for an interview.
  • Targeted cover letter. This letter is used to apply for a specific job and is either used in applying for an online position or sent directly to a hiring manager if that person's name is known. With an effective summary of your targeted skills and experience, this cover letter could help land an interview.
  • Recommendation cover letter. This letter could turn a job application into a job offer. It is similar to a Targeted cover letter because it is in response to an advertised position. The advantage of this type of cover letter is that it includes the name and contact information of someone who is referring you to the organization.  

Cover Letter Template

A cover letter should grab the attention of the decision maker and create an opening for you to present yourself as the most viable candidate. Explain to the employer the position for which you are applying in your own words and why you are the best person for the job. Be sure to give a concise but comprehensive presentation of your skills and experience. Spell out how your experience relates to the needs of the company and position. Conclude this letter by thanking the potential employer for their consideration. If you have their specific contact information, let them know how and when you will follow-up with them. 

Until next time ...


Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

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