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Please Provide a Cover Letter

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May 11, 2017

 

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To Whom it May Concern:

It has come to our attention that there are openings in the space of teaching people how to write good cover letters. After perusing the internet and Google-searching, we are confident that with the help of Dan Gomez-Palacio, Director of Career Services for Columbia College, we can fill in the cover letter knowledge gap. For an example of our expertise on the topic, please read this blog post

There are areas of cover letter writing we feel are poorly explained. Here we have named four, and given our explanations to demonstrate our expertise:

  • Who to address the cover letter to if you don't know the person's name: According to Dan, you should first use LinkedIn or the organization's directory to see if you can find the person. Or, you can call the Human Resources Department. You can also address the letter to the head of the organization, even if they're not the person hiring you. If you are truly unsure, you can use "To Whom it May Concern," "Dear Hiring Manager" or "Dear Search Committee."
  • Whether or not formal business letter format must be used: If the letter is being sent as an email attachment or in the mail use formal business letter format. If you're going to copy and paste it into an online application, then a simpler format is fine. 
  • How conversational v. professional the letter can be: Dan shares that it depends on the position and that a mix of both is best. Too professional might make your letter seem dry and empty with lots of blank space. It also won't give you an outlet to show off your personality. Though, a letter that's too conversational may indicate that you aren't taking the application process or position seriously enough. 
  • Signing the letter by hand: If you are attaching the letter to an email or mailing it in, sign and scan. If the letter is part of an online application, typed is fine. 

Ultimately, cover letters come down to three key parts, as shared by Dan:

  1. Make a convincing argument on why you are a match for the job. 
  2. Explain what skills and accomplishments you have that will benefit this position. Not just a rehash of your resume. Go into detail. 
  3. Answer the job description. Read through the job description and make sure you are addressing the key points effectively and efficiently. 

We would welcome the opportunity to further discuss this opening with you. If you have questions or would like to schedule an interview, please contact us through Facebook at Facebook.com/AimHireCC, Twitter at @AimHireCC or by email at content@CCIS.edu. 

Sincerely,

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