MSEJ March 2015 - Page 14

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Make it Consistent: Nothing says sloppy like a cover letter with different fonts (sizes and styles), spacing, and indentation. Even with the best resume and qualifications, a poorly formatted cover letter can land your application in the recycling bin. Make sure you produce a clean and consistent cover letter.

Avoiding Wasted Space:

By: Jamie Libby Boyle

While searching for a job, you’ve probably spent a fair amount of time on your resume — perfecting the language, format, and information to show the excellent employee you would be.

It’s tempting to feel “done” at that point, to believe that your resume will open the floodgates to interviews galore and infinite job offers. But hold on a second. You still have a cover letter to write.

Avoid the temptation to waste this space by drafting a general, form letter. A targeted cover letter can land you in the interview chair.

Follow these tips to get yourself in the door, in the chair, and in a position to negotiate a salary!

Make it Personal: The cover letter is a good place to show that you can

follow directions and find information. If the job call lists a contact person,

make sure to use their name. If it doesn’t, try to find the name of the HR rep or hiring manager. If you can’t determine the application recipient, then use “To Whom It May Concern.” Make sure to include the job title and requisition ID if available.

Make it Specific: Your resume provides a lot of information on the professional YOU. The cover letter tells a potential employer how to INTERPRET that information. Use the cover letter to explain how certain experiences or details in your resume make you an excellent candidate for their position. DO NOT JUST RESTATE YOUR RESUME in the cover letter. Use it to represent the most important aspects of you and your history to the employer.