Marketing letters to sell your benefits - your skills, education, experience and potential - to your customers - your potential employers. Always send a cover letter along with your resume, even if the job description doesn't ask for it.
- No longer than one page and no more than 4 paragraphs.
- Address your letter to a specific person - the person with the power to hire you. Get their name and title correct.
- Tailor your letter to the requirement of the position and the employer's needs. Know your reader and his/her organization.
- Send an original letter, not a copy. If faxing or emailing a letter/resume, always send an original in the mail.
- Your letter should be easy to read, printed neatly on a single page of good quality paper (8.5X11 matching your resume paper) and free of spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.
- Write each letter in your own words, not something you cribbed out of a book. Canned letters get canned responses or no response at all.
- Proofread, proofread, proofread!!! Then have someone else proofread it for you. Do NOT depend on spell check and grammar check on the computer. Drop it off in Career Services for a critique. Don't depend on your own proofreading!!!
Your Street Address
Your City, ST Zip
Name of Person you are sending letter to:
(Try to identify the person who has the power to hire you in that department or organization. Spell their name and title correctly.)
Their Job Title
Name of the Organization
Their Street Address
Their City, ST Zip
Dear Ms. Smith, or Dear Marketing Director, etc:
Why they are receiving this letter, position applying for, person who referred you, how you heard about this position...
"I am writing in response to the position of ____ listed in the Wilmington Star News on June 5, 2001."
"I am extremely interested in exploring _____ positions at _____ Company, and am sending along a copy of my resume in the hope of meeting with you."
"As suggested by ___, I am sending you my resume to apply for the position of ____."
"Dr. Faulkner in the English Department suggested I write to you about my approach to reporting campus news that I used effectively at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She thought my experience and coursework could be relevant to your organization."
"An article in BusinessWeek magazine identified your firm as an innovator in biological research. My senior project on chemical spills effect on marine life explore the area in which you are expanding. I would like the opportunity to talk with you about our mutual interest in this growing field."
Communicate the way in which your skills and experience can be of value to this particular employer. Present the most relevant information you want the employer to consider, even before she/he turns to your resume. Engage the employer's curiosity. Highlight special accomplishments and show your enthusiasm, but don't merely repeat your resume. Explain how your qualifications and the company's needs are a good match. This is the section where you must sell yourself and your abilities - this is no place to be modest.
"After taking several related courses and visiting alumni in the field, I have decided to pursue a career in labor relations. As you will note in my resume, I did a senior thesis on labor law and have had practical experience mediating conflicts as a Resident Assistant and head of our Conduct Committee. Last year I was a volunteer with a community mediation agency. With my leadership abilities, analytical skills and related background, I would work hard to be an effective member of your staff."
"For a recent University of North Carolina campus-wide event, I designed advertising materials which resulted in a 50 percent increase in student turnout over the previous year. Through this experience and an internship with a public relations firm, I have developed skills which may be of value in your promotional campaigns."
"The enclosed resume highlights my experience in computer-aided design. As one of the few students chosen to work with ___ at UNCW, I have incorporated into my design project techniques which...My accomplishments in this area have prepared me to make a strong contribution to your organization."
"You will note from the enclosed resume that many of my co-curricular and work experiences involve the organization and promotion of events. I have had direct sales experience soliciting potential customers for Canopy Caterers and have been successful in managing employees in various capacities. Perhaps the most challenging and rewarding experience I have had to date was working with Congresswoman Lana D'Free and the organizing committee of the North Carolina Literacy Festival. I am confident that I have the sales and managerial skills required to be a contributing member of the _____ organization."
Wrap it up! Call for action! Ask to talk to the employer in person. Take the initiative and let the employer know how and when you will contact him or her to set up an appointment. Use phrases lie "get together" or "meet with you" rather than "interview."
"Thank you very much for taking the time to consider my resume. I will call you in a week to see if we can set up a time to meet in person to discuss the position."
"I would like to meet with you to discuss my qualifications and how I might help your organization accomplish its goals. I will call you next week to find out when we might get together. Thank you for your attention."
"I will be in your area during our Spring Break, March 10-14, and would like to meet with you that week. I will call next Thursday to schedule a convenient day and time for us to get together."
"A letter and resume can tell only so much about my motivations and qualifications. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss my background with you in person and would travel to Atlanta at my own expense to do so. I will call you at the end of next week to confirm an appropriate time and date."
YOUR TYPED NAME