Compelling Cover Letters
The purposes of a cover letter are:
Your cover letter is the first impression an employer will have of you.
To introduce and attract the employer to your resume.
• To explain your qualifications for employment.
• To generate enthusiasm for reading your resume and offering an interview.
Employers read cover letters to look for:
• Written communication skills.
• Organizational skills.
• Ability to focus and establish priorities.
• Individual style.
• Social skills.
• Special job related skills.
Cover letter suggestions:
• Always write to a specific individual rather than a generic personnel office.
Whenever feasible, use networking sources to introduce yourself in the
opening paragraph of your letter.
• Show the employer that you’ve done your homework and have a genuine
grasp of the organization’s personnel needs and philosophy of business. Be
sincere in your praise. Be accurate!!!
• Save your cover letter on your computer and/or disk. Personalize each letter
with a sentence or two designed to reflect your sincere interest in the specific
employer. Most of the letter can remain the same after stating the specific
position, name of company, and addressing specific person. Also, restating
the name of the position and company at the end of the letter adds to the
• Use Natural Language - Simple - clear sentences. Don’t try to impress the
employer with unusual vocabulary or complicated sentence structures.
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Spring Arbor University – Office of Career Development
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:00am-5:00pm