The difference between your resume and cover letter is that your resume should provide the reader with a better understanding of who you are. Your cover letter should connect the dots for the reader and show how your previous experiences apply to the job for which you are applying.
Developing the Body of the Cover Letter
Research – Read the job description.
Select – From the job description, select 2-3 key responsibilities or qualifications that you possess.
Substantiate – For each of the 2-3 responsibilities or qualities that you have picked, develop a specific example that represents how you have previously performed similar tasks or displayed similar qualities/skills. (This evidence can come from your previous work or academic experiences.)
Writing a Cover Letter
Sample Cover Letter Outline:
Your resume heading with contact information
Name of contact person, Title
City, State, Zip Code
Dear (contact person):
Identify the person with the power to hire (department heads, etc.), and avoid personnel or "Dear Sir/Madam". Use the internet to do your research.
Indicate the position for which you are applying or the general field to which your background applies. Mention how you became aware of the position (e.g. through advertisement, referral, etc). Next, in general, state the 2-3 job responsibilities or qualities you chose from the job description that distinguish your candidacy and meet the needs of the prospective employer. Here, you are providing the employer with a "thesis statement" indicating what you can bring to the company/organization in a general sense. (This will generate interest, if on target.) Also, you may want to indicate your availability, if it is not immediate.
For example: I am writing to apply for the Client Services and Operations Coordinator position with the Philadelphia Soul; I discovered the position through a posting on Temple University's School of Tourism and Hospitality Management student portal.
Body of the Letter
Provide evidence that supports the 2-3 job responsibilities or qualities you found in the job description and mentioned in the "thesis statement" of your first paragraph. In other words, you will be explaining how your experiences and training relate to the responsibilities or qualities that you have chosen to highlight from the job description. The purpose of the body of your cover letter is to briefly connect your experiences to the key responsibilities and qualifications of the job for which you are applying. The goal of your cover letter is to generate interest in the resume itself. Be sure you use the language (jargon) of your field. Also, use words that imply action.
For example: I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Sport and Recreation Management in May of this year. The experiences I have gained throughout my collegiate career in and out of the classroom have shaped my professional capabilities. This opportunity strongly aligns to my desire to work in a unique, competitive environment; one that I can truly make an impact and help further organizational goals.
My previous experience as the Corporate Partnerships Intern with the Philadelphia Union honed my skills in effectively communicating and fostering lasting relationships with partners. In this role, I worked with team partners and coordinated regularly with their marketing departments generating in-game advertising specifications within the stadium and external events, managed inventory and logistics and assisted with client engagement via social media. Researching potential partners in this position helped me better understand the development of solid sponsor relationships and the forces driving brand needs.
Additionally, in my position as the Operations Supervisor with Aramark at Citizens Bank Park, I had the opportunity to manage employees and ensure concessions ran efficiently. I am versed in managing varying schedules based around games and events. I have also grown to be comfortable in handling client relationships and providing quality customer service to team sponsors, similar to your own.
Refer to the documents you have enclosed, such as your resume and other requested materials and ask for a meeting (interview) at the employer’s convenience. In this paragraph, you should also provide your contact information again so that this information is accessible. You also want to avoid confusion if your resume and cover letter were to become separated. If the position was not advertised, you may want to assert yourself by indicating that you will call the employer within one to two weeks to determine if he/she has any further interest.
For example: I believe I will be an asset to your company as the new Client Services and Operations Coordinator. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss how my qualifications may be in line with your needs for this role.
Thank you for your consideration,
Your name typed