Guest Author: CareerAlley
This is the second post in the Job Search Marketing Toolkit series and today’s post will focus on Cover Letters. While not as important as your resume, your cover letter is typically the first thing a recruiter or company HR representative sees. If it is missing or poorly put together it is unlikely they will even look at your resume so it is important to get this right. Cover letters generally date back to the days of “snail mail” (for more on Snail Mail, please see my post – Job Hunting with “Snail mail”) but have made the transition to the Internet as the content of your email sent when forwarding your resume.
The primary purpose of the cover letter is to introduce yourself and to let the reader know why and how you are qualified for a specific position or why your skill set would be of interest. You will (and should) have several versions of your cover letter. Typically, cover letters fall into several categories (examples follow later in the post):
- Specific – This type of cover letter is generally used to respond to an advertisement, an individual or a company that interests you.
- General – This type of cover letter is typically used to introduce yourself to recruiters, 3rd party contacts (introduced through others) or individuals at companies where you are not applying for a specific job but have interest in the company.
But you also won’t stop at two cover letters. Depending on your background and interests, you may have several versions of the Specific and General cover letters to address a specific functional role. But enough from me, let’s see what resources and examples are out there on the Web.
- Two Types of Cover Letters Specific and General Examples – This link provides examples of the two basic types of cover letters. This is worth a quick look, but take a look at some of the remaining links below before running off and writing your cover letters.
- Cover Letter Examples – This article is provided by Resume-Resource.com and gives another view of what a cover letter is and how to use it. There are examples following the article and they are very specific based on industry or functional role. The article does mention that cover letters are “situation specific” and, while you will have several versions, once you have your final cover letters you should only have to tweak them prior to sending with your resume.
- Sample Cover Letters – Another good resource for cover letters, this site provides a brief overview followed by a fairly long list of cover letter examples based on functional jobs. Once you click on a specific job function, the linked page includes several cover letter examples. At the bottom of the main page there are additional links for Tips and How to.
- How to Write a Cover Letter – This article, provided by wikiHow.com, provides guidance related to the specific sections of the cover letter and how to write them (formatting, the body, etc.). The article gives additional links through out and reviews cover letters specifics.
- Cover Letter Samples for Resumes – No “how to” link would be complete if there was not at least one reference to advice from About.com. This is an in-depth article and additional links are provided at the top of the article. There are also a wealth of links at the bottom of the page.
Good luck in your search.
Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.