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AI Assisted Specifications Writing Workshop

Essential Ingredients

Your cover letter is an initial introduction to your potential employer, not a regurgitation of your resume. It should entice the reader to jump into your resume with interest and enthusiasm.

The cover letter is written like any other business letter. Your address should look exactly as it does on your resume. Next, add the date and the employer’s name and address. The letter should never be more than one page. If it is long winded, the reader will find you boring. Chances are you are simply repeating what is in your resume, so cut it down.

Step 1

We’re going to present the letter in a form below, but there are a few caveats. This letter has to grab your reader’s attention. The first thing that the reader will see is a black and white picture. Make sure you are using good paper and that the print is clear and crisp.

Step 2

Write an interesting letter. Include the potential employer’s name and make sure it is spelled correctly!

Some ads will not include a name, but it is possible for a keen job hunter to avoid using “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Sir.” Make a phone call to the company. Let them know that you are preparing a resume and that the advertisement did not provide a name. Ask for it. It’s very rare for a company to refuse this type of request.

Quickly explain what you are offering. A little bit of additional information can really get your letter off to a strong start.

You can modify any of the following examples or come up with a phrase that starts your letter in a compelling way:

  • I came across an article about your company in our local paper. From research on your Web site and looking at the marketplace, I am sure of a couple of things. First, yours is the kind of company that I want to be associated with, and second, I have the skills that you can use.
  • I am a motivated high school student looking for some valuable experience during the summer break.
  • Staying current in our industry is tough because it changes so rapidly and many professionals find it hard to keep up. I am someone who keeps up on those changes, and I hope that you would like to meet so that we can talk about how I can help you to embrace the future.
  • I read your advertisement in the Daily News on May 17 and, after researching your organization, I think that I have something to offer you.
  • Your May 17 advertisement in the Daily News caught my attention, and your company name caught my eye.

Step 3

Give potential employers a reason to get curious about your resume. Bridge your opening paragraph with something like:

  • If you are looking for someone who can _________, I can help you by __________.
  • If you still have a need in this area, my resume demonstrates my dedication and commitment to what I do.

Then you can include one or two sentences that highlight a special contribution or achievement:

  • I have fifteen years experience in the agriculture industry, built on a degree from Olds College. My background has enabled me to consistently identify and implement the right technology to increase the sustainability of farming in our region.

Your letter can be presented in bullet form or paragraphs.

Step 4

Follow up with an action statement. You want the reader to turn the page and look over your resume as they pick up the phone to call you and invite you to a meeting.

  • I will be in your area on Tuesday and Wednesday next week and would be happy to meet with you to discuss the opportunity.
  • I am happy to meet to speak with you about this position. I have a portfolio that I can present to you at the meeting.

You can also safely add something like, “I am currently employed and would appreciate your consideration at maintaining the confidentiality of my application.”

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