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The Cover Letter

When writing a resume and the cover letter, the most helpful tool one needs is provided by the prospective employer himself: the job advertisement. The best job applications let the recuiter know that the applicant is able to pinpoint the exact set of skills and experiences the employer is looking for. The most skillful applicant will be able to deliver all these on paper, fine tuned into his or her employment record.

Both the resume and the cover letter need to be clear, concise and to the point. This not only showcases the person's writing skills, but also the level of understanding of what the position entails. The one thing to be kept in mind is that the interview comes before the job. The immediate goal of the two documents is to make the prospective employer want to invite the person for an interview.

Cover letters are typically divided in three parts. The first paragraph explains where the applicant saw the job advertisement, offers some basic information about the person and briefly outlines the reasons why he or she finds the job desirable. The second paragraph ideally provides several solid reasons why the person is suitable for the position and backs them up with concrete qualifications that are relevant to the position. The third paragraph reiterates the applicant's reasons and motivation for wanting to join the company in question.


Example

John Smith
11 S. La Salle St
Chicago, Illinois 60603
(866) 551-3702
johnt.smith@aol.com

December 6, 2007

Anne Jones
Recruiting Manager
XYZ Consulting
456 Eighth Avenue, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10018

Dear Ms. Jones,

I am finishing my first year MBA studies at Berkeley University and I was very interested to learn that you have made a career opportunity available and are looking for a consulting associate for your New York office.

After majoring in Economics at UCLA, I worked as a financial advisor in North Telecom, an international telecommunications company. It was there that I learned to apply a series of advanced business solutions, which often prompted me to investigate new methods of problem solving. I also feel that my interpersonal skills have grown significantly over the years, especially during the period I spent mentoring interns and taking an active interest in their professional training.

I feel that XYZ Consulting has an exciting, innovative approach to business that calls for an ongoing stream of ideas and possible solutions. Since both my education and experience have taught me to think on my feet and outside the box, I feel that I have garnered the necessary skills that would allow me to make a positive contribution to your business and that joining your firm is the natural next step for me to take.

I have enclosed my resume for your review and I would greatly appreciate it if you considered offering me an opportunity for an interview.

Sincerely,

John Smith

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