Cover Letter Templates Word 2007

Before you look at these, it will pay you in the long run if you understand how a cover letter can work, along with your resume, to get you the job interview that you want.

A job application is either speculative – you want to work for a company, but they are not advertising; or it is an application for an advertised job.

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The key to writing a good cover letter is to understand two things. First, that your potential employer will have many applications to look at, either all at the same time if a position has been advertised, or every morning if he or she has been given the job of assessing speculative applications. Second, he or she will likely have very little time to read them and to decide if a candidate merits an interview. So every word on the cover letter has to count.

As your cover letter will be read before your resume, and it is in effect ‘selling’ you, it is vital that it tells the employer something about you which will generate interest and a positive feeling about you in the employer’s mind. It has to be, at most, one page long.

Traditionally, a one page cover letter consists of three parts. These are the introduction, the main body, and the sign off.

For the introduction, you must address the potential employer by name: this will immediately differentiate you from more casual applicants. State the position you are interested in, and why you want to fill it. Refer to the job ad if relevant.

For the main body, you must market yourself as the right person for the job or for the company, making the most of your qualifications, skills and experience, and relating them directly to the position you want.

Finally in the sign off, make all your contact details clear and explicit, and remind the employer that further details can be found in your enclosed resume. By this point, he or she should be hooked.

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Here are some sites which give actual cover letter samples to read.

California State University has many cover letter samples, mostly for speculative applications rather than for advertised positions. It gives a useful commentary on the merits of particular parts of the covering letters featured. See their cover letter guide for additional tips.

Virginia Tech has produced a comprehensive cover letter resource, which includes a cover letter template, and both email and hard-copy samples of various cover letters. These include follow-ups to a personal meeting, applications for advertised positions, and speculative applications where no position has been advertised.

Careerstrides.com has free cover letter samples specific to professional areas such as Accounting, Administration, Executive and Sales.

Quintcareers has a large set of free cover letters, which they call ‘job search’ letters, covering areas like internships, cold contact, military transition, and recent college graduate. They also show you how to stand out from the crowd with a ‘two column’ letter layout. You should also have a look at their cover letter tutorial. Towards the end of this, they give sample excerpts from actual cover letters, explaining why they are effective – so you can learn by example.

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Image taken on 2009-09-28 15:17:43. Image Source. (Used with permission)

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