Job Application Cover Letter Sample :
How much firm-specific research should you do?
If you have a good prototype letter, most of the text can reflect the types of jobs you are seeking and the industry of which the particular firm is a part. These two factors remain constant for all jobs and firms in that industry. The minimum change you need is a sentence stating your motivation for
wanting to work for that specific firm. That information could come from promotional literature the firm supplies about itself, the chairman's message in the firm's annual report or an article in the press, for example.
If time permits more extensive research, you could gather material to make your letter even better. You might be able to include positive characteristics such as product knowledge or managerial philosophy, which would link you more clearly with the firm to which you are writing.
In short, the absolutely critical part of your research is about the kind of job you want. Knowledge of the industry is also important, because it would apply to a large number of firms. Firm-specific research could range from the minimum, which would let you write a letter like Anthony's, to a thorough job, which would help you write an outstanding letter.
A potential weakness, as with many recent college graduates, is lack of related work experience. I finessed this issue primarily by referring to my hands-on group projects. My reference to employers' praise for my communication skills indicates It has worked. That's as explicit as you wanted to get because your college jobs were of the survival variety: waiter, camp counselor and library clerk.
When he moves from a prototype to a letter directed to a specific employer, he should individualize his text by referring to the company's products, philosophy, track record, size or geography as being an attraction to him.
Where are we now?
Six members of the JSC wrote prototype cover letters. Each person applied general cover letter principles to his or her own situation. Each identified the main points s/he wanted to make before starting to write, a process that makes writing easier and more effective. The comments at the end of each letter should help you review your own text and see if there is room for improvement.
We will see how to make your cover letter and resume partners for progress.
The cover letter adds to your attractiveness as a candidate in three ways.
You can give those positive characteristics of greatest interest to a particular employer more prominence in the cover letter than you did in your resume.
Through your cover letter, you can put some of your experiences in a frame of reference that more closely meets the needs of the employer.
New material :
Your cover letter can include material of interest to an employer that would be difficult to present in a resume. Your motivation for wanting to work for that particular company is an example.
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