Creating Your Cover Letter

Ask yourself the following questions before you begin writing your cover letter...

1. What does the prospective employer need?
Which skills, knowledge and experience would be an asset in the job you are targeting?
2. What are your objectives?
Are you applying for a specific job, trying to get an interview or simply hoping to get someone to spend 10 or 15 minutes on the phone with you discussing opportunities in general at that organization?
3. What are three to five qualities that you would bring to this employer of this job?
If you're responding to a job listing or classified, then those qualities should obviously be the job requirements mentioned in the ad. If you're not applying for a specific job opening, then think of which skills, knowledge and experience would typically be valued.
4. How can you match your experience to the job?
What are at least two specific accomplishments you can mention which give credit to the qualities you identified in the prior question?
5. Why do you want to work for this particular organization of person?
What do you know about them? What is it about their products or services. philosophy, mission, organizational culture, goals and needs that relates to your own background values and objectives?

Once these five questions have been answered, you are ready to begin creating your cover letter!

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