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Business Letter Writing: Writing a Cover Letter when Applying for a Job

By Kenneth Beare, About.com Guide

The cover letter should always be included when sending your resume or CV for a possible job interview. This letter of application serves the purpose or introducing you and asking for an interview. Here is an outline to writing a successful cover letter. To the right of the letter, look for important notes concerning the layout of the letter signaled by a number.

Cover Letter Outline

2520 Vista Avenue - 1
Olympia, Washington 98501
April 19, 2001

Mr. Bob Trimm, Personnel Manager - 2
Ideas Inc.
587 Lilly Road

Dear Mr. Trimm: - 3

Opening paragraph - Use one of the following to bring yourself to the attention of the reader and make clear what job you are applying for:

  1. Summarize the opening
  2. Name the opening
  3. Request an opening
  4. Question the availability of an opening

Middle paragraph(s)- Use one of the following in each of your middle paragraphs to provide the reader with plenty of reasons to invite you to an interview:

  1. Education
  2. Work experience
  3. Ability to work with others and/or alone
  4. Interest in your field
  5. Interest in the company
  6. Responsibilities in previous positions

Closing paragraph - Use the closing paragraph to ensure action on the part of the reader

The last paragraph needs to help ensure that action is taken. You can ask for an interview appointment time, stating that you will be happy to come to the employer's office when convenient. Make it easy for the reader to follow-up by providing your telephone number and email address.

Sincerely,

Kenneth Beare - 4

Enclosure

Important Salutation Notes

1 - Begin your cover letter by placing your address first, followed by the address of the company you are writing to.

2 - Use complete title and address; don't abbreviate.

3 - Always make an effort to write directly to the person in charge of hiring.

4 -Always sign letters.