Constructing a Cover Letter
First, come to one of our Cover Letter/Resume Workshops.
Then, write a cover letter for a job posting you find online and come in to the CDC for feedback so when you see a position you want to apply to, you are ready to do so.
Key Elements of a Cover Letter
Writing a cover letter (or inquiry letter) is like writing a brief persuasive essay. With the cover letter, you are able to write about your skills and qualifications as they directly relate to a position to which you are applying. In an inquiry letter, you are speaking to your experiences and skills but in a more general sense with the intent of demonstrating your fit, match, and/or candidacy for a possible future opening with a company or organization. In either of these documents, you will make a thesis statement or a claim about something, back up that claim with evidence and then draw it to a close.
Once again, the key elements are your:
1. Thesis statement
In this case, it would be that you are an excellent candidate for a given opportunity (i.e. job description of your choice) because of your specific skills, abilities, experience.
Support your thesis statement with brief, specific examples of relevant skills, abilities or experiences that make you an excellent candidate.
3. Closing statement
Affirm your interest in the opportunity, request an interview or say when and how you will follow-up, and thank the employer for considering your application. Remember that cover/inquiry letters build a bridge between your resume and the opportunity at hand. Focus on the most relevant, strongest skills you bring to the employer. Both standard and common examples of cover letters are provided on pages three and four of this packet.
CDC Peer Career Advisors are available every day to offer Cover Letter advice. Call 413-538-2080 to schedule a drop-in appointment with a PCA. Please note: Drop-in appointments can’t be made in advance but must be made on the day that you want to come in to meet with a PCA. It is recommended that you call when the CDC opens, as slots fill up quickly.