General Question

JesusWasAJewbot's avatar

How do you make a good cover letter?

Asked by JesusWasAJewbot (1500 points ) July 22nd, 2010

So at the age of 23 ive never really had to make a cover letter for any kind of employment, though now that i am looking for work again a lot of jobs are requiring cover letters.

How exactly do you make one? What are some key things to be included in one? What are employers looking to get from a cover letter?

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9 Answers

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

There are plenty of templates, tips and guides on the internet for creating a cover letter. There are companies that will create a resume and cover letter. Whichever way you go, just make sure it is proofed by more than one person. Typos on a cover letter and resume often end up in the recycle bin.

aprilsimnel's avatar

And make sure you read the job description carefully. Use words in your cover letter that correspond to what the employer is asking for. SO if the description says “seeks motivated self-starter”, “4-year degree”, and “Microsoft Office Suite” those words need to be in your cover letter in a way that shows you have those qualities to offer.

Ron_C's avatar

I agree that there are many templates for cover letters to look at on-line. I have read many resumes and the ones that I found most interesting and notable are the ones written personally by the applicant. I can spot “boiler plate” easily and not interested in a person that cannot or does not think for him/her self.

You can use a letter as an outline but use your own words throughout the letter. Finally, use a spell checker or dictionary. I always put the misspelled resumes’ at the bottom of the pile.

Also when you do write the letter, use proper English, avoid slang, avoid acronyms, if you use abbreviations explain them the first time you use them. For instance if you refer to Pennsylvania National Bank Corporation put (PNC) after it then if you further reverence it you can use the initials.

The most irritating thing that people do in newspaper articles or letters is to use the abbreviation without explanation. For instance the current squabble is between right wingers and the NAACP. The first use should be National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) should be written like this. Not everyone is familiar with what you may assume to be common knowledge.

answerer's avatar

I think the best site that answers your queries is http://CoverLetterFormat.org
It also has some sample cover letters that you may find useful.

jazmina88's avatar

Funny, I’ve had PNC for 20 years and didnt know what it was, til now.

check your grammar. Use enthusiam.

mrrich724's avatar

As an HR person I hate reading your life story on a cover letter. In fact, I scan for 5 seconds or less and then go straight to the resume.

If you must do a cover letter follow these two rules:
1. No more than 4 sentences. To tell you the truth, if it’s more than that, I won’t read it.
2. Use those sentences to highlight the buzzwords that are parallel between your resume and the job requirements.

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