Cover Letter 101

Typewriter

The first cardinal rule for writing a relevant cover letter is very simple: whenever possible, address your cover letter to a specific employee, preferably the one organizing interviews. Avoid addressing a letter “to whom it may concern,” “dear sir/madam,” or even, “dear hiring manager.” A quick search on LinkedIn, the company’s website, or a search engine will help you locate the correct person and contact information to reach them.

Your cover letter should consist of three to four short paragraphs and not surpass one page in length. In addition, remember to proof read your cover letter for grammatical errors. Simple mistakes may convey a lack of attention to detail and cause the recruiter to reject your request for an interview.

First Paragraph

The first paragraph serves as your introduction and should identify why you are contacting the organization. Mention how you learned about the company’s current opportunity; was it through a friend, LinkedIn posting, networking event, or from the company’s website, etc.?

 “I would like to be considered for your current Director of Event Marketing opportunity in Atlanta, Georgia. I am a Marketing Manager with 5 years’ experience in corporate event management. I was referred to this opening by your Director of Strategy, Jonathan Corley.”

Second Paragraph

Utilize the second paragraph to display genuine enthusiasm for the position. Explain why you are the ideal candidate by highlighting relevant experience and the ways you contributed similar value to a different organization. Focus on how your skills fulfill the employer’s needs. This paragraph should also include a sentence or two about why you seek work with the particular employer or organization.

“After reviewing the job description, I am confident that my skills are a strong match for this opportunity. I thrive under pressure and proactively seek new challenges. In my current position, I increased brand visibility by 45% within the first six months of being hired. The company is now attending one trade show per month and the role has grown to include supervising two entry-level marketing assistants.”

Third Paragraph

The third paragraph should highlight your qualifications and education most relevant to the position without merely rehashing the description in your resume

“I believe my professional experience and academic preparation at the University of Georgia in event marketing will enable me to make an important contribution to your organization.”

Fourth Paragraph

Your closing paragraph thank the employer for their consideration of your candidacy, the best phone number to reach you, and indicate that you look forward to speaking with them in the near future.

“Thank you for your time and consideration. I am available to discuss this opportunity via phone or email at your convenience. I look forward to speaking with you soon!

Sincerely,
Name Here
Best Phone Number Here”

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