Composing Content for Your Cover Letter

Now you know how to write a cover letter…wait you don’t? If you aren’t sure how to write a cover letter go visit the blog http://career.nichols.edu/blog/2016/11/16/craft-a-cover-letter-worth-reading/ and then come back here. Okay, so everyone who’s still reading, you know how to write a cover letter, but you’re not exactly sure what to say? This blog will give examples of what to put into your paragraphs and how to phrase it. Remember not to just copy and paste these paragraphs, just use them as guides, because they’re not going to fit your personal experiences.

Let’s start from the top, with your header. The header should be at the left-hand side of the top page and should have your information, followed by the date, and the employer’s information. Make sure to get a specific name; call the company if it is not in the job description.

Header example:

26 Park Ave

Worcester, MA 01602

July 7, 2015

 

Michael Emerald

Business Performance Design

55 Main Street

Dudley, MA 01503

 

Follow your heading with a greeting. Be sure to include a specific name and avoid using  “sir” or “madame”. Below are a few examples of greetings:

  • Hello Mr. Emerald,
  • Dear Mr. Emerald, 
  • Greetings Mr. Emerald:

Note that your greeting should be followed by either a comma (,) or a colon (:)

Now for your introduction paragraph remember to include why you’re writing, name the position, and the field of work you’re requesting. One sentence can be used to say why you are interested in that company/organization. Below is an example introduction paragraph.

With five years of business retail experience, I am excited to apply for the Marketing Associate position at Performance Business Design posted on Nichols’ job database, Road to Success. The company’s collaborative efforts with local businesses to increase profits appeals to me as a business graduate. I value business and its importance, which is why I have worked towards earning my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree majoring in Marketing at Nichols College. With the skills I have learned at Nichols and the work experiences gained in retail, I feel I am an excellent candidate for this position.

Next in the second and third paragraphs include information on why you’re pursuing this opportunity and include relevant information about your background. Make sure to tailor your information to the job description. Note: As you’re writing, keep the job description in front of you so you can reference the key skills and responsibilities listed. See the example of the body paragraphs below:

While working towards obtaining my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, I have maintained a part-time associate position at Price Chopper. While working there, I have demonstrated excellent customer service. This has helped establish good customer to employee relationships and will serve me well in this position communicating with potential clients. There are several responsibilities and tasks for any given shift, and because of this, I have developed multi-tasking and detail-oriented skills. The fast-paced environment at Business Performance Design is a place in which these skills will thrive. Working closely with the managers and employees has helped demonstrate effective interpersonal relationships with co-workers.

During my Junior and Senior year of college I interned at DC Marketing Solutions where I assisted with several marketing projects. Helping create a strategic marketing plan, promotional material, and press-releases has inspired me to continue my career in this field. The experiences I have gained here will be invaluable in the Marketing Associate position.

Depending on your experience one paragraph may be sufficient, but a second one can be added if needed.  Do not repeat any information directly from your resume.

In your fourth paragraph, restate your enthusiasm for the position, why you would be a good fit, and what you can bring to the company/organization. Express the desire to meet in person, and include your contact information. Finally, thank them for their time and consideration. Take a look at the example fourth paragraph below.

Performance Business Design is a company that serves other local businesses in the area, and I am very interested in speaking with you further about the future of its marketing department. The combined skills I have learned at Nichols and my extensive work experience in retail and marketing has prepared me for this position. Should you have any further questions, I may be reached at (555) 555-5555 or first.last@nichols.edu. I look forward to speaking with you further. Thank you for your time and consideration.

End your cover letter with a closing statement and your signature. Closing statements can be Sincerely, Regards, or Best Regards, or any similar formal closing statement. An example of the closing and signature format is below.

Sincerely,

(4 blank lines for your handwritten signature)

Your Typed Name – First and Last

Include your typed first and last name under your signature for clarity.

Now that you have some examples of what to say in your cover letter you should be good to go, but just in case you need a little more help, below is a list of phrases commonly used on cover letters.

 

  1. First Paragraph
    • Please consider me as a candidate for the Assistant Editor position posted on Bedford/St. Martin’s website.
    • Through the Nichols College recruitment software program, Road to Success, I learned of this marketing internship, and I would like to apply for the position. Upon reviewing your website I became particularly interested in the Telegrams’ focus on current news reporting in the immediate area.
    • By utilizing the resources at Nichols College’s Career and Professional Development Center, I learned that Progress Software Company has an opening for an entry level Software Consultant. I believe my experience and training make me a good match for this position.
    • Professor Marlene Smith at Nichols College recommended that I contact you regarding potential job opportunities within your Accounting Department.
    • Please accept my resume in application for the position of entry-level financial analyst. I can offer Boston Partners Financial Group strong communication, time-management, and problem solving skills as well as experience in research and sales.
  2. Second and Third Paragraph
    • As a full-time student I effectively balanced my coursework, a part-time work-study job, and the duties of a Resident Assistant. I have a proven ability to juggle multiple tasks, manage my time, and maintain enthusiasm for any project I take on.
    • Through my experience with several research projects and my Senior Honor’s Thesis, I can offer strong research skills to the department’s research projects.
    • The liberal arts degree I have earned at Nichols College has allowed me to develop strong written and oral communication skills, the ability to work as part of a team, and effective problem solving capabilities.
  3. Fourth Paragraph
    • I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss my qualifications for this position.
    • I look forward to meeting with you to discuss opportunities at Enterprise.
    • Thank you for considering me for this position.
    • Should you have any questions or need additional information, I can be contacted at (555) 555-5555.
    • In review of my resume, you will note my growth and experience. What it cannot illustrate, however, is the degree of dedication, resourcefulness, and professionalism that I can offer.
    • Please consider this letter a request for a personal interview to discuss my qualifications and your expectations of the position in greater detail.
By Liz DeNoncour
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