Jeff Carter
Life is a riddle; unfortunately the answer's are not written here.

Cover Letter Tips

Entering my last semester at Georgia Southern, I find that more and more employers are requesting cover letters with your resumes. I first encountered this last spring when I applied for a summer internship. I really wasn’t sure what  a cover letter was or what at it was suppose to be. I asked some friends if they knew what it was and I got a multitude of answers. Things like “a great chance to say how awesome you are” and “explain why you would be good for the job.” With all that in mind, I wrote my first cover letter and ultimately got the internship. I gathered some sources though to get a true understanding of how to write a great cover letter.

The general consensus from all three were that your cover letter should be an introduction of yourself, and what experience have you had that would qualify you for this job. It should be fairly obvious that since this is what the resume reader will see first, that you make sure that you write your cover letter in a professional way (free from errors). According to ibtimes.com before writing your cover letter you should “prepare five to ten strongest points of your career,” and then mention them in your cover letter.

Some people wonder is it always necessary to include a cover letter. Accent Resume Writing says the best rule of thumb is “if you are not shaking hands with the hiring decision maker and introducing yourself, then you need a cover letter to introduce you.” However if you are meeting directly with the decision maker/person doing the hiring a cover letter is not necessary.

The Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) gave perhaps the most detailed instructions on how to write and format a cover letter. In regards to formatting the Purdue OWL suggest that you do the following:

  • Single-space your cover letter
  • Leave a space between each paragraph
  • Leave three spaces between your salutation (such as “Sincerely” or “Sincerely Yours”) and typed name
  • Leave a space between your heading (contact information) and greeting (such as, “Dear Mr. Roberts”)
  • Either align all paragraphs to the left of the page, or indent the first line of each paragraph to the right
  • Use standard margins for your cover letter, such as one-inch margins on all sides of the document
  • Center your letter in the middle of the page; in other words, make sure that the space at the top and bottom of the page is the same
  • Sign your name in ink between your salutation and typed name

By clicking on the link provided earlier you can see that they go on to show you how to properly list your contact information and start your introduction. The next important part they discuss is the argument. Purdue mentions that this is the portion of the letter that you argue why you would be a good hire, how this will benefit them, and show them you have the skills for the job. It is important that you maintain an upbeat tone while writing this section.

Finally, your closing statement should be just a quick overview of all your main points. Hopefully this information will help you write an effective cover letter in the future.



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3 Responses to “Cover Letter Tips”

  1. Jeff, I had no idea that Purdue Owl had tips on cover letters. Good job on finding their information! I reference their tips for APA all the time and find the site very helpful. Also, the explanation about why to include a cover letter and when it’s appropriate is both interesting and helpful. I also had not idea that we were going to need to include a cover letter in our resume packages that go with our internship applications. I’m going to have to go back and include one. Good job on your cover letter information. It was very helpful.

  2. I agree that having a great cover letter is like putting your best foot forward for a company to see. While I used WinWay resume to create my cover letter, there are definitely some great resources online that can help you create one catered to your specific needs. I have found that I tend to use the same format for my cover letter when sending out my resume, but I tweek parts of it so that it fits the job description of what I am applying for. Cover letters. along with resumes, are always changing, and it is important to add important changes and experience to them as you change.

  3. Great Job Jeff. The importance of a good coverletter is one of the first keys to obtainig your dream job. Purdue Owl is definitely a great source to get this information from. They seem to have EVERYTHING when it comes to writing tips. I know thats one of the first places I stop when I have a formatting issue.determine the characteristics of poential employees. And like yourself Jeff I was absolutely clueless when it came to coverletters about a year ago so its definitely good to read this reminder.


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