If a room full of recruiters were asked if they read cover letters, their responses would be evenly split. For this reason, the staff at the Alumni Career Center recommends a cover letter be written. A cover letter is a great way to help the candidate stand out over their competitors. It gives the candidate an opportunity to sell their accomplishments and that unique quality they possess that can not be discovered in their resume.
The following are some tips to writing an effective cover letter:
1. Write a targeted cover letter telling the employer why you are interested in their position and their company.
2. Try to always address the cover letter to a specific person. LinkedIn can be resource here.
3. If a person referred you to the position, in your opening sentence state, “(person’s name) suggested that I contact you regarding the XYZ position.
4. Read the job description and mention specific skills and or accomplishments that are relevant that you will bring to the position.
5. Close your cover letter by requesting an interview to further discuss your skills, abilities and fit for the position.
For more information or to read sample cover letters go to the “cover letter writing” section under the “Search Tool” tab in the Virtual Career Center at http://www.uiaacareers.org/.