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What is a cover letter??

Your cover letter explains to the employer how the qualifications set forth in your resume make you an appropriate choice for the position available. Use this fourpoint process to create cover letters with impact:

1. The reason for the letter (Here is what I want):

"I am interested in the Park Ranger opening advertised in the April 12 issue of Forestry Monthly."

2. Explain your qualifications (Here is a little bit about me):

"I am a senior at the School for Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University, majoring in public management because I want to pursue a career in public service. SPEA has provided me with the opportunity to combine courses in management with conservation, natural resources, and land management. In addition to the coursework, I have worked closely with Prof. Smith on his Great Lakes project, where I have had a chance to do extensive fieldwork with water resources, wetlands, and beach erosion."

3. Why do you want to work for them (I know who you are and what you do):

"I know that the Forestry Service maintains all federal parks and recreationareas, and is particularly involved in matters of public education about the value of natural resources and tourism."

4. Closing (How you can contact me or I'll contact you):

"I have included my resume and references. I will contact you next week to discuss opportunities at the Forestry Service."

* You can make this follow-up by phone (leave a voice-mail) or e-mail. Here's what you'll say (write): "Last week I applied for a park ranger position in Yellowstone National Park. I am very excited about this opportunity. Please let me know if you need any additional references or information. I look forward to talking to you."

Cover Letter Guides and Sample