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Employment Letters

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A cover letter introduces your resume and, more importantly, it introduces you. Because it is the first reflection the prospective employer sees of you, the cover letter creates a very important initial impression. Think of the cover letter as a bridge between the employer's needs and your abilities. Your objective-in addition to building that bridge-is to stimulate interest in your background and qualifications. A good cover letter expands upon the resume and brings it to life!

Parts of a Cover Letter

Address and Salutation

WHO are you writing to? Address each cover letter to a specific person, if at all possible. A brief phone call should provide the name(check the spelling) of the person in charge of hiring in your targeted area. If you are not sure of the gender of the addressee, use the full name: Dear Terry Smith, rather than Mr. Smith or Ms. Smith. If you cannot obtain the name, address the letter to the position, e.g., Dear Human Resources Director.

Introductory Paragraph
WHY should you be considered? The introduction establishes the purpose of the letter and must attract sufficient attention and interest to bread the eight-second rule, which says that most cover letters enjoy only an eight-second review before a screening decision is made.

Body Paragraph(s)

WHAT can you do for the organization? The body of the cover letter should highlight and detail your qualifications for the position. This is also the place to emphasize any special skills, education, or training that might set you apart from the competition. Focus your message on the benefits to the organization should they hire you.

Closing Paragraph
HOW can we make contact? In the final paragraph, refer to the enclosed resume, explain your next course of action, and thank the reader for considering your application.