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Cover Letters Part 4

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What should I include in my introduction?

The introduction for your cover letter should greet a specific person. The introduction should state the position you are applying for and how you heard about it. The introduction should also explain why you are a good match for the job opening and the company. You should introduce at least two examples from your résumé you will explain in your letter.

Addressing your letter

Address your letter to a specific individual if possible. The person you address should be in charge of interviewing and hiring. Use these steps to get the name of the contact person:

  • Look in the job ad for the contact person
  • Call the company
  • Look through the company’s website for the person in charge of the department you are applying to, or a person in Human Resources

You may address your letter to a group if you cannot find the name of the contact person (note that you should use a colon and not a comma after your greeting):

Dear Hiring Professionals:

Dear Selection Committee:

You may greet the contact person using the full name if you find the contact person but do not know the gender:

Dear Ms. Kincaid: (for Amy Kincaid)

Dear Alex Carson:
(for Alex Carson – Alex is usually a male name, but it can also be used for women. Alex can be short for Alexandra.)

Here is an example of an introduction:

Dear Alex Carson:

I read in the June 7, 2009 Journal and Courier employment section that A & D Industries is hiring a welder apprentice (#46), and I would like to speak with you about this position. My strong work ethic and solid teamwork skills make me a good match for A & D Industries. Also, my welding experience at Russell’s Collision Service as an auto body technician, welder/fabricator and my courses in welding make me a good candidate for your apprentice position.

Click here to download the PDF file containing sample résumés and employment letters.