With our graduation dates closely approaching, I along with my fellow graduates from the class of 2010 are starting that unfamiliar thing that many peopl call the “job hunt,” where thousands of students will be competing with each other for that “perfect job.” However, today since the job market is not so hot; we are not only competing with each other for jobs, but also the more experienced professionals as well. So then how are we supposed to make ourselves stand out? The answer is simple: The cover letter.
A cover letter should be no more than one page in length and include about 3-5 paragraphs. When writing your cover letter, keep in mind that the employer has most likely read a lot of other people’s cover letters as well. So, you need to make sure that your cover letter makes you stand out by making sure it is well written, follows APA or MLA format, is to the point, and tells the employer not only who you are, but also why you are the perfect candidate for the position. Jimmy Sweeney author of Amaizing Cover Letter Creator explains that in order for a PR cover letter to be effective it should be “simple and persuasive presenting a case, supporting it with facts and motivating the reader to take a desired action,” (Sweeny).
Rollins College explains that there are 9 sections to a cover letter:
1. The Basics
- Your cover letter should look like your resume. It should be printed on the same paper and written in the same font. Make sure your cover letter should be easy to read and look good.
2. Business Format
- Included on the cover letter is your information such as your name and address as well as the person that you are sending your resume to. However, there are times when you might not know who exactly is responsible for hiring for the position. If you run into this problem, just simply omit the person’s name, but still include the address.
- Make sure to address your cover letter to the specific person that is responsible for hiring for the position. Your greeting should be formal and located one line under the company’s address.
4. The First Paragraph
- The first paragraph should state your reasons for writing the letter. Specifically why you are writing the person and which position you are applying for.
5. The Middle Paragraph(s)
- This section(s) should indicate not only your desire to work in the PR field, but should also highlight some of your accomplishments and one or two special skills you have.
6. Final Paragraph
- This is the shortest paragraph of the letter and is simply a farewell.
- The closing can be one simple phrase such as thank you very much.
8. Your Signature
- Make sure you not only sign your name, but type your name as well underneath your signature.
- This is located one line under your typed name and is simply the number of writing samples that are included within your resume package.
I hope that all the tips help! A good example of a cover letter can be viewed at:
Newfield, P. Public Relations Cover Letter Sample. Retrieved from http://www.cover-letter-resource.com/public-relations-cover-letter-sample/
Rollins College, Resumes & Cover Letters. Retrieved from http://tars.rollins.edu/careerservices/resumes/coverletters.htm
Sweeny, J. The Public Relations Cover Letter In a Nutshell. Retrieved from http://www.jobbankusa.com/public_relations_cover_letter.html