Jacque from Wright State University asked:
I really need help writing a cover letter. I understand that I should write a different cover letter for each individual potential job, but is there a general idea for cover letters I should follow?
This is a really important question. Most people overlook the importance of cover letters and, as a result, miss out on a great opportunity to market themselves to employers.
Following is my recommended formula/structure for building cover letters.
COVER LETTER STRUCTURE: Good cover letters are focused marketing letters that present what is relevant.
Use the following as a guide for writing cover letters that market what you offer in terms relevant to the hiring employer:
Part One: First Paragraph – State your Case! (tell them why you are writing): State the purpose and nature of your inquiry.
Part Two: Body Paragraph(s) – Defend your Case! (tell them why they should care you are applying): Tell them how what you offer/seek matches with what they offer/seek
Part Three: Last Paragraph – ◦Close your Case! (Set context for next steps and close): Wrap it up/Summarize. Suggest/hint toward next steps in the process
Hope this helps,
PS – Be sure to PROOFREAD your cover letters. Don’t let a typo be your downfall!