Q:

What should a cover letter say?

A:

Quick Answer

A good cover letter includes the candidate's skills and how they match the employer's needs. Candidates should begin their cover letter with an opening statement that highlights the position they are applying for and where they found the job opportunity.

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Full Answer

  1. Open by detailing the job in question
  2. Candidates should begin cover letters by stating why they are writing, which is to apply for a particular position. They may also wish to establish how they found the job and highlight who they are. For example, "Ms. Jones, PhD."
  3. Write two to three paragraphs summarizing important resume points
  4. In two to three paragraphs, highlight working and educational achievements that are relevant to the job. Candidates should explain how they can make a contribution to the organization and fulfill the advertised role. The aim here is to complement the resume, rather than repeat it.
  5. Complete the covering letter with a closing paragraph
  6. Finish the cover letter with a closing paragraph asking for an interview at the employer's convenience. In addition, state that a resume accompanies the cover letter.

When writing a cover letter, candidates may wish to consider:

  • Who their audience is.
  • What their objective is.
  • How they can relate the audience and objective together, while fulfilling their needs.
  • How to write an opening statement that grabs the reader's attention.
  • How to expand on the most relevant points of their resume to relate them to the job in question.

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