General Cover Letter Information
  • The cover letter should motivate the reader to look at your resume and consider you for an interview. Don’t simply restate everything in your resume. Sell yourself!
    1. Paragraph One: Tell the contact what you want or the position you are applying for and how you became aware of the organization. If someone referred you, mention that person’s name.
    2. Paragraph Two: Provide an overview of your qualifications and work history showing how you would benefit the organization. Discuss how you developed an interest in the career field. Show passion and tailor this to the specific job.
    3. Paragraph Three: State your confidence in your abilities and give information on how you can be contacted. Express your appreciation.
  • Focus on what you can do for the company, not what they can do for you. Be work/company focused, not self-centered.
  • Address letters specifically to a person with the correct title and spelling of the name.
  • Be concise. Use normal, but professional languages. Don’t use inflated words or exaggerations.
  • Be positive and use action verbs. Create word pictures that will help the reader see you doing the job.
  • Tailor the letter to the specific position and reader. Don’t forget to sign the letter!
  • Use block format and keep the letter to one page.
Professional Block-style Cover Letter

Appropriate when responding to an advertised job opening. Sells skills using a specific accomplishment in 2nd paragraph.

111 Westview Road
Lexington, Kentucky 40504

Maggie Manager, Human Resources
Telemarketing Corporation
12123 West Center Road
Louisville, Kentucky 68134

February 1, 2016

Dear Maggie Manager:

I am applying for the position of Customer Service Manager, as advertised in the January 26th issue of the Lexington Herald Leader.

With over five years of experience in customer service and a strong educational background in human resources management, I believe I could make a significant contribution in helping Telemarketing Corporation achieve its customer service goals and objectives. As an example of my most recent accomplishments, I designed and implemented an incentive program that significantly increased productivity among customer service employees. This in turn significantly raised the level of customer satisfaction with the service provided. Because employee productivity and customer satisfaction are key components of a successful customer service operation, I believe that my expertise in these areas would be of particular value in meeting the challenges of this position.

The enclosed résumé summarizes the full range of my skills and qualifications. I would appreciate the opportunity for a personal interview to discuss this position and my qualifications in more detail. I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience. You may reach me at (859) 111-1441.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Ima Sample
/enclosure

Cover Letter for Possible Opportunities within a Desired Organization

Appropriate cover letter when inquiring about possible opportunities within an organization that you would like to target. Includes action plan of calling to set up an informational interview.

1234 North 55 Street
Lexington, Kentucky  40504

Robert Peterson, Manager
Accounting Department
XYZ Company
10 Dear Park Drive
Omaha, Nebraska 68102

February 1, 2016

Dear Mr. Peterson:

I am writing to introduce myself to you at the suggestion of Professor John Jones of Sullivan University.  He has indicated to me that you are very interested in talking to senior accounting students regarding possible career opportunities.

As you can see in the enclosed résumé, I have a very strong academic background in accounting combined with over five years work experience in accounting and bookkeeping. My recent internship at Mutual of Omaha allowed me to further develop and strengthen my technical and analytical/problem solving skills through the successful completion of a major project involving the conversion of a manual to a computerized accounting system. As Professor Jones indicated that this type of conversion is a major concern for your organization over the next year, I believe that I could make a significant and valuable contribution on that project, as well as other challenges that I’m sure you are facing.

I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss how my education and experience are consistent with your needs and will be contacting you within the next few days to talk about the possibility of arranging an informational interview.  In the meantime, you may reach me at (859) 123-4567.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Cory Cover

/enclosure

General Resume Information
    • The goal of a resume is to get an interview! You do not have to list everything that you have ever done.  Be selective.  Draw attention to what you have accomplished or contributed instead of just your responsibilities.  Focus on where you are going with your career, not just where you have been.
    • Employers prefer a Chronological Resume (see attached samples) which lists your work experience (most recent first) and dates of employment.
    • Resumes generally include some of the following sections depending on what you seek to highlight:
• Contact Information • Education • Awards
• Skills Summary • Relevant Coursework • Volunteer Experience
• Qualifications • Professional Organizations • Professional Activities
  • Contact information should include a professional email address and a phone number where a message can be left on a voice mail system.
  • It is best if all relevant information fits onto one page; however, there is not a strict rule about length. The guideline is how much experience you have in the field – more than 10 years = more than one page.  Remember, employers only spend 15 to 20 seconds looking at your resume!
  • Do not include personal information such as hobbies, marital status or a picture. Focus your resume on your professional qualifications.
  • A resume must be truthful. Falsification is grounds for termination, even years later.
  • Proofread your resume. Have several different people proofread it.  A resume must be free of typos, errors, and gimmicks.
  • Good resumes are visually pleasing and easy to read quickly. Bulleted lists help with readability.
  • Great resumes focus on skills and results, use action verbs to get the reader’s attention.
  • If using quality resume paper, black ink on white or ivory paper is the best choice.
  • A resume should always be accompanied by a cover letter, unless delivered in person.
Action Words

Make your resume more powerful!

Achieve Demonstrate Inspect Qualify
Act Design Install Raise
Adapt Detail Institute Recommend
Administer Determine Instruct Reconcile
Advertise Develop Integrate Record
Advise Devise Interpret Recruit
Aid Direct Interview Rectify
Analyze Distribute Introduce Redesign
Apply Draft Invent Reduce
Approach Edit Investigate Regulate
Approve Employ Lead Relate
Arrange Encourage Maintain Renew
Assemble Enlarge Manage Report
Assess Enlist Manipulate Represent
Assign Establish Market Reorganize
Assist Estimate Mediate Research
Attain Evaluate Moderate Resolve
Budget Examine Modify Review
Calculate Execute Motivate Sauté
Catalogue Exhibit Negotiate Schedule
Chair Expand Obtain Screen
Clarify Expedite Operate Select
Collaborate Facilitate Order Sell
Communicate Familiarize Organize Serve
Compare Forecast Originate Settle
Compile Formulate Oversee Solve
Complete Generate Perceive Speak
Conceive Grill Perform Staff
Conciliate Guide Persuade Standardize
Conduct Handle Plan Stimulate
Consult Head Prepare Stimulate
Contract Hire Present Summarize
Control Identify Preside Supervise
Cooperate Implement Process Support
Coordinate Improve Produce Survey
Correct Increase Program Synthesize
Counsel Index Promote Systematize
Create Influence Propose Teach
Decide Inform Provide Train
Define Initiate Publicize Transmit
Utilize Update Verify Write
Reverse Chronological vs. Functional Resumes

In modern resumes, information about skills and experience can be listed using three distinct formats:

  1. Reverse chronological
  2. Functional
  3. A combination of the two

Reverse chronological

Generally speaking, hiring managers prefer that employment data is provided with the most recent job listed first, followed by the next most recent, and so on. In that way, it’s easy to see career progression from an entry-level position to a more senior status. It’s also easy to detect gaps in dates of employment. These gaps lead some candidates to use a functional format instead.

Functional

Functional formats stress what skills you have, rather than where and when you used them. These formats are best for students who have just graduated from college and have little “real-world” experience, those who have been out of the workforce for long periods because they were raising children, and job seekers who are transitioning from one career or industry to another. However, sometimes combining a functional format with a reverse chronological format makes the most sense. These are called combination resumes.

Combination

With this format, skills that are relevant to the current job search are placed in a special section by function, while the Professional History or Work Experience is presented in a standard, reverse-chronological format. This format offers the best of both worlds, and is highly popular with modern job seekers and hiring managers.

The two most effective resume formats for entry-level workers are functional and combination. Steer clear of strictly chronological resumes, which place emphasis on your work history.

Functional resumes emphasize your related skills while downplaying your work chronology. Rather than citing dates of employment, this format uses categories to highlight your aptitudes. For example, if you’re seeking a secretarial position but don’t have any related experience, you may create the following categories: “Computer Skills,” “Interpersonal Communications” and “Office Management Abilities.” The latter may refer to managing your own home office, for example.

A combination resume is a chronological resume that leads with a Qualifications Summary, in which you emphasize the credentials that most qualify you for the job you’re trying to land. Strategically order the sections in your resume to best suit your qualifications, placing more relevant categories, such as Education, Key Skills, Volunteer Work, etc., before your work history.

Resume Examples

Download the document below to view resume templates in a multitude of formats.

Reference Page

NAME
Address
City, ST ZIP
(859) XXX- XXXX
email address

___________________________________________________________________

References
(list 3-5 references)

Name
Title
Name of Employer
Address
City, ST ZIP
Phone
Email Address

Name
Title
Name of Employer
Address
City, ST ZIP
Phone
Email Address

Name
Title
Name of Employer
Address
City, ST ZIP
Phone
Email Address

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