Annie Lankford talks about selling yourself on paper so as to secure job interviews in the future, below are some brief extracts from her thoughts.
There are 3 common types of cover letters:
- 1-2 body paragraphs
- Match desired skills/experiences listed in the job/position description
- Use key words
- Expand on your resume
- What skills did you gain?
- What knowledge did you learn?
- How does this relate to what the position is calling for?
- Chance to explain employment gaps
- Be confident!
- The specific organization/business
- The job that you are applying for
Where you explain to the employer why you should be selected for an interview, create a critical first impression of who you are to the employer
- References are on a separate sheet of paper from CV
- Should have the same exact heading and layout of your CV
- First and Last Name
- Job Title
- E-mail and phone number
- If reference no longer works there, try to get their personal contact information
- Consider writing a brief statement on how you know the person
What is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is a picture of who YOU are!
- Avoid family and friends
- Professional references: those that are familiar with your “work”
- Supervisors, executive directors, co-workers, etc.
- Personal references: those that are familiar with your overall character
- Religious leader, teacher, professor, person you volunteered for
- Ask permission if it’s OK to list them as a reference
- Give a copy of resume + job description to references
How To Sell Yourself On Paper:
- Name and Contact Information
- Use same header as resume
- Recipient’s information
- Name, title, company and address
- Avoid “To Whom It May Concern”
- If unable to locate specific contact person:
- “Dear Hiring Manager”
- “Dear Hiring Committee”
What can you do for the employer?
- Why are you writing?
- Specify position
- HOW did you learn of the position?
- Why are you interested in applying?
- Playing up your skills
- Gaps in your employment
- Explaining “other experience”
- One Page
- 10-12 point font (Times, Arial, Calibri)
- Use standard business letter (block) format
- Print on resume or high quality paper
- Proofread, Proofread, PROOFREAD!
- Application Cover Letter
- Referral/Networking Cover Letter
- Letter of Interest
Why are cover letters so important?
A letter sent with your resume that:
- Provides additional information about your skills and experience
- States how you are the best match for the job that you are applying for
- Did you emphasize your related experience and skills?
- Have you sold yourself on paper?
- If roles were reversed, would you consider your CV to be a strong applicant?
- Summarize your qualifications
- Express interest in an interview/meeting
- Thank the employer for their time and attention