An effective cover letter will enhance your résumé and increase your chances of landing an interview. It should:

  • be neatly typed/typeset on stationery that matches your résumé,
  • generate interest and turn that interest into a desire to learn more, and
  • turn that desire to learn more into action (an interview).

Open your letter with a brief statement of why youíre writing. For example, "I am writing in response to your recent advertisement for a Project Coordinator." Continue the opening paragraph with a statement that demonstrates youíve done your "homework", that you know something about their company. For example, "Your firmís recent introduction of the new KX49 widget shows that ABC Company is certainly on the cutting edge of technology.

The second paragraph should outline why youíre the ideal candidate for the job. If youíre responding to an ad, address as many of the qualifications listed in the ad as possible. Show how you can contribute to the companyís success. For example, "My background includes planning, developing, and implementing sales of tubular products for XYZ, Inc."

Be specific regarding your responsibilities and accomplishments. For example, "My management responsibilities included supervision of a staff of 15 in a four-state region." Donít repeat verbatim phrases or sentences out of your résumé. The cover letter should enhance the résumé, not duplicate it.

Close your letter by thanking the reader for considering your application. Be sure to indicate that you are interested in an interview.

Whenever possible, take a proactive approach to asking for an interview. Indicate that you will follow-up; donít wait for them to call you. For example, "I will contact you next week to arrange an interview at your convenience."

Printed Pages can help! Printed Pages will be happy to assist in any aspect of your cover letter preparation. We can correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation, or we can edit your rough draft to make the wording more powerful and effective. If you wish, we can write the entire letter for you from start to finish. Regardless of who writes your letter, let Printed Pages word process and laser-print the letter and address a matching envelope to add that polished look to your résumé presentation.

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