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Career Vt Cover Letter Samples Jobsearchguide

Basics for all correspondence:

Individualize
There are similar elements to job search letters, but each letter should be individually tailored and targeted to the recipient. There is no such thing as an effective "form letter" in a job search. You know when you get a form letter; a prospective employer knows too. A letter that looks like it could have been randomly sent to any employer is a good candidate for the employer's "no" pile.

Make your purpose clear
Don't make an employer guess why you are writing or what you are writing about. In choosing your words, think about the purpose of your letter and details of your individual circumstances. For example, if you make a telephone call to an employer prior to sending a cover letter, it makes sense for your letter to refer to the telephone call. If you must respond to an employer's letter to you, read the letter carefully to draft an appropriate response.

Tell the employer what you'll do for the organization, not what the organization can do for you.
Saying, "I really want this job because it will give me great experience," is not a sell to an employer. Of course the job will give you (or someone else) great experience. It just makes you sound "all-about-me." Instead, tell the employer what you have to offer. Be specific and realistic; as in, "I have great organizational skills that I developed and demonstrated when I was event chair for my club." Don't use hyperbole; as in, "I will immediately contribute to higher profitability on my first day on the job."

Edit
Grammar, spelling and punctuation should be error-free; wording should be clear, concise and business-like; avoid gimmicky language and slang terms.

Don't rely on spell check alone
Spell check won't let you know that you've used manger instead of manager, perspective instead of prospective, left the "l" out of public, and so on. (All mistakes we've seen plenty of times.)

Be yourself
Be your formal, business-like self, but express yourself in a manner that is natural to you. Avoid too much borrowing of language from sample letters and friends' letters. Excessively flowery language or using complicated words won't make you sound smarter; it will make you sound silly. Use good examples as inspiration, but don't copy.

Record-keeping
Retain copies of every letter you send and receive, including email; mark your calendar for any appropriate follow-up.

All names are fictional, and each sample is one page unless otherwise noted.
Remember the caution not to look at just one sample and copy it! You are unique and your resume will not look exactly like anyone else's! The samples show you some variety and help give you ideas.

Silva
B.S. in progress.
Freshman student seeking 3-term co-op.
Availability indicated because co-op work term availability varies by student and when you need to be in school for courses.
Doesn't yet have career-related experience.

Gimble
B.A. in progress.
Sophomore level student seeking summer job/internship.
Has experience, volunteer work and student leadership related to career field of interest; these are detailed.
"Other" experience section; one line per job; detail not needed.
Arial 11 font.

Gimble
Same as above.
Candara 11 font.

Ward
Federal government resume style.
B.S. degree in progress; junior academic level.
Seeking internship.
More than one page to accomodate federal government resume preferences.
See more about federal job search
Times New Roman 12 font.

McWellen
B.S. almost completed; seeking job at graduation.
Coursework to show specialty and focus (not basic courses taken by anyone in the same major)
Extensive skills section related to career field.
Arial 10 font.

McWellen
Same as above.
Corbel 10.5 font.

Walsh
B.A. candidate with coursework outside major that supports the objective; includes language skills.
Junior academic level.
Seeking internship.
Relevant campus job and student media experience.
Century Gothic 11 font.

Matthews
Bachelor's degree; seeking job at graduation.
Study abroad in education section.
Design skills section. Portfolio link.
Palatino Linotype 10 font.

Neilson
Bachelor's degree, seeking job at graduation.
Completing degree in August (indicate your real completion month/year, not when you "walk")
Goes by middle-name/nickname; shown in heading.
Course project detailed.
GPA shown to 100th decimal place because close to next 10th decimal place; rounding up would be inaccurate and could appear dishonest.
Traditional font choice: Times New Roman 11.

Barbour
Bachelor's degree, double major and minor.
Study abroad and Washington Semester in education section.
Language skills related to objective.
"Related" and "other" experience.
Details on colleges activity involving organizational skills.
Book Antiqua 10 font.

Constantine
Earning two bachelor's degrees (distinct from double major)
University Registrar FAQs: What is the difference between and double major and a second degree?
Details on student leadership role.
Calibri 11 font.

Sorvino
B.S. degree being completed, seeking job at graduation.
Related and other experience categories.
Selective bolding helps key items stand out.
Tahoma 10 font.

Kelly
Skills resume. Summarizes skills from a variety of sources: work, class projects, student activities. Seek advice if you take this approach; some employers do not favor skills resumes; but these can be effective tools for some job seekers.
Garamond 11.5 font.

Alvarez
M.S. in progress. Seeking position at completion.
B.S. completed.
Both degrees from Virginia Tech.
Related and "other" experience separate sections. Details on related experience; no details needed for other experience.
Verdana 9.5 font.

Alvarez
Same as above.
Slight format change
Calibri 11 font.

Benjamin
Ph.D. candidate
Curriculum vitae; multiple pages expected.

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