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When it comes to a resume, a cover letter is an essential part of the ensemble. It is the first piece of the pie that any company seeking to hire will be reading. Writing a cover letter, a hopeful employee needs to be professional. A resume should help persuade the employer to further read the entire resume, and hopefully get you an interview for whatever job.

According to a helpful Virginia Tech website, it is aimed to help students about to graduate better prepare their resumes. The resume needs to call attention to the purpose in which it is being sent. First of all there are two different types of cover letters: those of application and those of inquiry. The website has several example resume links for each type. Application is applying for a definite open position, and inquiry is asking if there is a possible job position that could be applied for. There are also differences between a hard copy resume and email. According to the Virginia Tech website, “The main difference between e-mail and hard copy correspondence is format: your signature block (address, etc.) goes below your name in e-mail, while it goes at the top of the page on hard copy. Of course you won’t have a handwritten signature on e-mail, but don’t forget this on hard copy.”

It is important that your cover letter is specific to the position in which you are applying. The cover letter then, should stress the skills and experience that relate to the position you are seeking.

Thanks to About.com: JobSearch, they have given many templates for different types of cover letters. Check them out here, at Cover Letter Samples. The many links of the site can cater to your particular needs of the type of cover letter necessary. The cover letter is such an important part of the package because it is like making the first impression. You need to be knowledgeable about the certain type of cover letter needed, or the employer may just send your resume into the “reject” pile. Especially in the job market these days with not many college students being hired right after graduation, it is good to show that you know the requirements. About.com says, “Keeping in mind that your letter should express a high level of interest and knowledge about the job you are interested in.”

To get some good ideas going on starting your own cover letter for that important job opportunity, check out theCover Letter site, which provides free resume templates for many types of different jobs.  They are even willing to add those job cover letters that are not listed on their site! So helpful.

When it comes time to apply for the job, make sure that the cover letter gets as much time and effort as the resume. Obviously implying that all the details are in the resume is not that enticing for the employer. Just like the hook line of a story in the news, the cover letter needs to “hook” that employer’s interest in what you have to offer.

Need more help? Check out this video

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Comments on: "The Basics of a Cover Letter" (6)

  1. ashleyprisfunrenfroe said:

    Really helpful video! Someone else had a good video on their blog as well. I think I will try to do that next time myself. It really makes your blog look good!

  2. Loved this video. Very simple and I felt like it was geared towards more a college crowd. You had some very good points in the article as well. I feel like the hardest part about writing a cover letter is knowing how much personality to put in your cover letter while still remaining professional. 🙂 Thanks Sarah!

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