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Words of Wisdom

Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing college students should never be released into the world until they have been properly sedated. 

— G. B. Trudeau

May 2008

MEGHAN: Good morning Ags.  I’m your host Meghan Wall and welcome to “Write Right.”  Ever wonder how to write that cover letter for a job application?  Well listen up because here’s a quick tip on how to do it.

CINDY: What if it says I also need a cover letter; what’s that about?

STAN: Good question Cindy.  The cover letter is the first thing a future employer sees when you turn in your resume.  It should breathe life into your resume and serves as your personal introduction.  Format for a cover letter is usually a bit more structured.  First, at the top you should address the letter to someone in the company, whoever you are sending your correspondence to.  It’s always better to find a name and say “Dear so and so” versus “To Whom It May Concern.”  Some good opening lines are: “I am writing to enquire about the position…,” or “After having seen your want ad, I would like to apply for…”

MANDY: Then, in the opening paragraph state how you found out about the position, whether you are replying to a want ad, found it on a job search engine or newspaper, or word of mouth.  If you know what position you are applying for specifically state that here, much like an objective.  In the next paragraph show why you are a great match for the position and point out aspects of your resume that you want them to note.  Draw specific parallels to why your experience and job history matches the qualifications for the job you are seeking.  Another paragraph could include why you want to work for this company, what you expect to contribute, and what you expect to gain.

STAN: And finally, include a strong closing, for example: “Should you need any additional information not included in my resume, please contact me by my telephone number or email address listed below.  After you review my resume, I hope you will grant me an interview for this position at your first convenience.  I appreciate your time and consideration, and look forward to hearing from you soon.”  End with sincerely and your name.  Always make sure if you type your name, also leave room for a signature too.  Then include at the bottom your email and telephone number. And let the reader know the resume is enclosed.

MEGHAN: Well there you go.  If you need any assistance in writing a cover letter, just go to the Career Center located in Koldus 109 or to the University Writing Center on the second floor of Evans library, where they have trained staff ready to help you.  Thanks for tuning in to this quick tip; I’m Meghan Wall and we’ll see you next time on “Write Right.”

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute The University Writing Center, Texas A&M University.

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