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Resume & Job

  1. Resume Tips
  2. Resume Format
  3. Cover Letter Model
  4. Job-hunting Strategies
  5. Preparing for the Interview
  6. Dressing for Success




Your cover letter is the first thing a prospective employer sees when the envelope is opened, even before they see the resume you have so carefully prepared. Since you want to make sure the resume is read, it is important to spend a good deal of thought and time to write an effective cover letter, one that will get you the interview you want. A well-written cover letter will allow you to:

  • Complement the content of your resume
  • Express your individuality
  • Indicate the unique contributions you can make 



(also referred to as an application letter)

Current Street Address
Your City, State and Zip Code
Today's Date 

Individual's Name
Employer Name or Company
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Individual’s Name: (Use either Mr. or Ms., if you do not know if the individual is a woman or man use both, i.e., Dear Mr. or Ms.)

FIRST PARAGRAPH.  The initial paragraph needs to capture the attention of the reader and compel him/her to read further. Answer the question “why am I writing this letter? One way to accomplish this goal is to open the letter with a topic of importance to the employer. This topic should be linked to job requirements or expected accomplishments of a person in the kind of job you are seeking. An alternative method of capturing the employer’s attention is to display knowledge of the organization and its reputation or goals. In either case, it is important to link your qualifications to the employer’s needs, either in the first paragraph or later on.

Other approaches include: mentioning the name of a person who referred you to the employer or stating your reason for writing (to inquire about or apply for a specific type of position). If you use the latter approach in an application letter, state how you learned of the position.

Whatever your approach to the first paragraph (and the rest of the letter, for that matter), make it interesting and original. “I am writing to apply for. . .” is not very interesting.

MIDDLE PARAGRAPH(S). Here is your opportunity, in one to three paragraphs, to convince the employer that you can make a unique contribution to the organization. Highlight your relevant skills, experience, knowledge, personal qualities, academic background, and accomplishments. Link these positive features to ways you can be of benefit to the employer. It is always best to use an example or two to support claims you make about yourself. Try to tie your strengths into the attention getting topic you discussed in the first paragraph.

LAST PARAGRAPH. Conclude by restating your candidacy for the position you are applying for or express your interest in working with the organization (if you did not do so in the first paragraph). Use this paragraph to state your desire to meet with the employer for an interview. Refer to your enclosed résumé and/or other support­ing documents (applications, references. and transcripts). Give a phone number where you can be reached or where a message can be left for you.


Rebecca Roberts

Enc. (this denotes that your résumé, application form, and/or references have been enclosed)

Note:                Paragraphs #2 and #3 can be combined if very short.


Cover Letter Sample

22987 - 33rd St. W 
Seattle, Washington 80239 


Ms. Shirley Sells, Director
Corporate Sales Department
Nike Incorporated
Portland, OR 97222  

Dear Ms. Sells:

In today’s highly competitive sportswear industry, market share is everything. To get market share, you need sales people who can not only generate new accounts, but can keep sales volume high in those accounts by: following up with retailers to provide responsive service and strategically out-positioning competitors in the produce displays.

My sales and customer service experience has provided me with a strong combination of skills and knowledge in customer rapport building, closing techniques, product merchandising, and purchasing systems. Throughout my work history, I have consistently increased the number of the repeat and long-term customers and expanded sales volume above established goals.

In addition to my ability to foster loyal customer relationships and influence buying decisions, my marketing degree has prepared me to understand how to adapt to changing markets and economic conditions. I am also known by others as a collaborative term player who brings enthusiasm to accomplishing company goals. It is because of these strengths that I know I can make a contribution to Nike’s sales efforts. Enclosed is a resume highlighting my qualifications. I look forward to meeting with you in the next two weeks to further demonstrate how I can be of benefit to your organization.



(Handwritten Name)

Lynn Gladd (typed)



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