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Cover letters allow prospective employees an opportunity to introduce their resume and basic qualifications for a job. Creating a solid cover letter will allow you to highlight your expertise as well as remind your previous employer of your previous affiliation and knowledge of the company. With a little attention to detail, you can encourage your previous employer to take a careful look at the skills and experience you can bring to the position.
Write a Glowing Cover Letter
Create a heading for the cover letter consisting of your name, address, phone number and email address. Drop down four lines, then type the date on the left side. Leave two more lines and enter your employer's name, company and address.
Begin your letter with "Dear Mr. Jones," using the employer's real name. As you move into the body of the letter, keep in mind that according to Wendy Enelow of the University of New Mexico, it is best to keep cover letters to one page.
Express your desire to apply for this particular position in the first paragraph. This is a short introductory paragraph of only two or three sentences. In this paragraph, make reference to the fact that you were employed by this company previously and that it would be a privilege to work for them again.
Highlight your skills and expertise in the next paragraph or two. Trinity College Career Services Department states that the purpose of a cover letter is to grab the employer's attention. Listing your skills and accomplishments in the form of a bullet list often catches the employer's eye immediately.
Mention the skills that best align with those detailed in the job description. State that since you have worked for the company before, you are familiar with the organization's structure and procedures.
State in your last paragraph that you would appreciate the opportunity to once again serve the company. Ask for the privilege of meeting for an interview. By asking for an interview, you are in essence asking the employer to take action by contacting you. Lastly, thank the employer for her time and consideration of your resume.
Close the letter with "Cordially," "Sincerely" or a similar closing word or phrase. Drop down four lines and type your full name. This will allow room to insert your handwritten signature.
By paying attention to detail and displaying enthusiasm for the job, your cover letter will give your previous employer insight into your current skills and past experience.
Update your resume before writing the cover letter to include your current skills, courses completed and other job qualifications.
Type your cover letter on the same resume quality paper that you use to print your actual resume. White or cream colored paper is usually preferred.
Brenda Hagood has been a writer and speech therapist since 1982, and a nonprofit director. She wrote manuals for Total Learning Curriculum and enjoys health, education and family life research. Hagood holds a bachelor's degree in communicative disorders from California State University, Fullerton, and a master's degree in speech pathology from Loma Linda University.
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