When you send a resume to an employer it must be accompanied by a letter of application, also known as a cover letter. This letter is essential. The purpose of the cover letter is to highlight the skills, education and experience you possess related to their position. You will express to an employer why you are interested in the position and what contributions you believe you can make to the organization based upon your qualifications. Since the cover letter is the ideal place to focus on the specific skills you want to emphasize for a particular employer, a unique cover letter must accompany each resume you send.
- Be sure to introduce yourself, the position for which you are applying and identify the source that listed or advertised the position opening. If you were referred to the position by a specific individual, make note of that in your letter.
- The letter should be addressed specifically to the person (by name and title) who will be conducting the screening process and/or interviews. You can generally find out this information by calling the human resources department of the organization.
- The objective of this letter is to highlight your skills and experience in relationship to the needs of the employer to whom you are writing. Each letter of application you write will be different based upon the position requirements and functions, focusing on the skills that are important to that particular employer. Be sure to indicate your willingness to discuss the position further and to be available for an interview.
- If you have been asked to provide salary requirements, you may note this in the last paragraph of your letter. An example: “With regards to salary expectations, I would hope to be compensated in the range of $XX,000 to $XX,000 based upon my education and experience.” Be certain to research what salaries are typical for your career field!
- If you are applying for a position through an on-line application system, there may be a section in which you can copy & paste or upload a cover letter. If there is not a designated space, you may include your cover letter information in the “Additional Information” section if one is provided.