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Your cover letter is the first thing employers see when they open your materials. Make your first impression a good and lasting one. The focus should be on how you meet an employer’s needs, and little use of the word “I” while still selling you as a strong candidate. Your cover letter should never be more than a single page, 3-4 paragraphs in length, and not repetitive of your resume. Before arriving at Career Services for help with your cover letter, the following exercise will provide a strong basis for the final product.
Cover Letter Preparation Exercise:
- List three skills a particular job vacancy will require. Then list – in sentence form – examples of things you have accomplished that demonstrate your ability to satisfy the skill requirements.
- Write a paragraph outlining why this organization would want to hire you for the job.
- Describe in complete sentences what you know about the organization; products, services, locations, growth areas, history, etc.
- What is your greatest accomplishment that can be related directly to the needs of the position for which you are applying? Put the idea into a sentence you are sure would impress the employer.
- Write a sample closing paragraph in which you leave with the employer the decision to contact you. Next, write a paragraph in which you take the initiative and say you will contact the employer at a particular time. Now evaluate the two. Which one do you think will be most effective? No matter which one you use ALWAYS follow-up after a predetermined period of time.
785-827-5541 Ext. 1160
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Outside office hours appointments available upon request.
Student Development Office, Pioneer Hall, Room 185