|How To Write a Good
Your resume should always have a good COVER LETTER attached, as a
personal communication between you and the individual who receives
Many job hunters are intimidated by the task of writing a cover
letter, but it's not that hard if you think of it as just a
friendly, simple communication from one person (who's looking for a
good job) to another (who's looking for a good employee). It is in
the interests of both parties to make a good connection!
1. Be sure to address your cover letter --by name and
title -- to the person who could actually hire you. When it's
impossible to learn their name, use their functional title, such as
"Dear Manager." You may have to guess ("Dear
Selection Committee") but never say "To whom
it may concern" or "Dear Sir or Madam"!
2. Show that you know a little about the company,
and that you are aware of their current problems, interests, or
3. Express your enthusiasm and interest in this
line of work and this company. If you have a good idea that might
help the employer resolve a problem currently facing their industry,
offer to come in and discuss it.
4. Project warmth and friendliness, while still
being professional. Avoid any generic phrases such as "Enclosed
please find." This is a letter to a real live person!
5. Make a personal link to a specific individual in
that company, if at all possible -- also called "name
dropping." For example, "My neighbor, Phil Lyons, works in
your research-and-development department, and from what he tells me
about the company and its current directions, I think I could be a
good fit for your team."
6. Set yourself apart from the crowd. Identify at
least one thing about you that's unique -- say a special talent for
getting along with everybody at work, or some unusual skill that
goes beyond the essential requirements of the position -- something
that distinguishes you AND is relevant to the job. (Then, if several
others are equally qualified for the job, your uniqueness may be the
reason to choose YOU.)
7. Be specific about what you are asking for and
what you are offering. Make it clear which position you're applying
for and just what experience or skill you have that relates to that
8. Take the initiative about the next step whenever
possible, and be specific. "I'll call your office early
next week to see if we could meet soon and discuss this job
opening," for example. OR -- if you're exploring for
UN-announced jobs that my come up -- "I'll call your office
next week to see if we could meet soon, to discuss your company's
needs for help in the near future."
9. Keep it brief -- a few short paragraphs, all on