If you are interested in applying for an exciting city position, you wish to inform your prospective employer that you are the right candidate for the job. The way to do this is with a cover letter that highlights how your professional qualifications match those specified for consideration. Cover letters follow a basic, three-paragraph structure, which allows candidates to introduce themselves and explain why they are applying, summarize relevant work experience and close with appreciation and a plan for future contact. Figuring out what the prospective employer is looking for and matching your strengths to their needs is crucial to obtaining an interview for a competitive city position.
Prepare to write your cover letter by reading the job posting carefully and researching the company. City positions often have an abundance of applicants, so it's important to research the company's mission statement and identify key words in the employment ad that match your skills and experience. Examples of key words include highly motivated, customer service oriented, project management skills, written and verbal communication skills, detail oriented and knowledge of Internet technology.
Write your introductory statement. This is where you state the position for which you are applying to confirm your interest, and briefly explain why you feel qualified. For instance, "I am interested in the City Position and believe my editorial, communication and marketing skills match those specified for consideration."
Write your body paragraph or argument, which summarizes your work experience, education and/or skills, emphasizing how they will benefit the employer. Focus on briefly detailing your relevant and recent work experiences using two to four key words gleaned from the job description, and incorporate your knowledge of the company to further show how this potential relationship will benefit everyone. Avoid restating or listing your entire resume, as this will be included with your cover letter; instead, market your abilities by providing specific examples of your qualifications, always targeting this toward how your skills and experience can successfully help this particular company or organization. Tailor this section to help you stand out of the crowd with your knowledge of the company to provide your potential employer with a strong reason for hiring you.
Write your closing paragraph. Thank your readers for their consideration and include your contact information. Either request that the employer contact you or better yet, be proactive and inform the employer that you will be contacting them in the near future. Doing the latter not only shows initiative, but may also allow you to find out more about the company's hiring process and meet other company contacts.
Cover letters should be written in the active voice and should be no longer than one page.
Try not to use terms that are subjective, such as explaining yourself as kind, helpful or anything that you will not be able to prove in an interview.