Cover Letter Guide

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What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a one page letter written to an employer to express interest in a specific job or internship opening. It is a chance, through examples, to expand upon your qualifications for a given position. When writing a cover letter you should demonstrate your interest in the organization as well as a couple of key experiences and/or skills that match up with the job description and mission of the organization. Researching the organization along with studying the job description is essential before you start to write a cover letter. Doing so will allow you to tailor your letter to show how you meet the organization's needs.

Sections of a Cover Letter

Header: Your contact information
Date: Write out the full month, day, and year you are sending the cover letter
Addressee: Full contact information and organization name of person/office you are addressing the letter to (if unavailable, organization name only will suffice)
Salutation: Mr./Ms./Mx./They/Dr./ Hiring Committee

200 Riverway,Box 0049
Boston, MA 02215

February 26, 2016

Aisha Abdul-Wahab
Coordinator of Recruitment and Retention Services
Youth Opportunities Upheld
81 Plantation Street
Worcester, MA 01604

 
Body of the Letter

Introductory paragraph: Immediately state that you are writing to apply for a given position, and how you found that position. Hint: if you have a direct contact or find the position through Wheelock Works, this will help your chances of landing an interview. Write a couple more sentences in which you express what about the position and/or organization excites you, and give a preview of the key qualifications you bring that you would like to highlight. If you are applying for an internship, you can even highlight some potential learning goals in the introduction. You will use the body paragraphs to go into more detail on your specific qualifications for the position and connection to the organization.

I am writing to apply for the Therapeutic Mentor opportunity that I found through a posting on Wheelock Works. As a Senior at Wheelock College pursuing my Bachelor of Science in Juvenile Justice and Youth Advocacy, I am a strong proponent of Youth Opportunities Upheld's (YOU's) belief that every child and family has the potential to flourish. I feel that my experience as a Case Manager Intern with the Department of Children and Families coupled with my Upward Bound Summer Leadership positions has given me great insight into what it takes to help children and families live out the mission of YOU.

 
Experience Paragraphs:
Once you have identified 2-3 professional/academic experiences or skills that you would like to highlight, you are ready to write your experience paragraphs.

Using the professional language of the field, highlight accomplishments from your current and previous experiences that you think will make an organization want to bring you in for an interview. Your accomplishments should not only relate to the job description, but also the organization's mission and culture.

As a Case Manager Intern, I met with therapists, community organizations, and families, from which I gained insightful exposure to how Individualized Intervention Plans (IIPs) are developed and implemented. I feel that evaluating a child's well being through a one-on-one relationship is important to coaching them on how to improve their overall social functioning. It was rewarding to enhance the social skills of my team's caseload by teaching them age-appropriate problem solving and conflict resolution strategies that they could use in both the home and school settings.

In my Summer Leadership position with Upward Bound, I mentored 20 at-risk children in behavioral enrichment programs, and kept careful documentation of their progress. The children's goals were set by not only evaluating the behavioral challenges presented by professionals, but by listening to what the child's interests and activities were. By focusing on the latter, I was able to design activities the children would enjoy and progress them towards their behavioral and social goals. Understanding a child's goals is very important in writing up recommendations that encompass the full picture of what a child is going through, and what the best steps are to lead them to success.

 
Conclusion  Paragraph
:
The concluding paragraph is not a place to put new information from your experiences, but rather to restate your interest, enthusiasm, and why that you are a great fit for the position. Be bold and tell the employer that you would appreciate the opportunity for an interview to discuss your qualifications further. Make sure to thank the employer for taking the time to read your cover letter and/or any other supplementary documents you may have submitted as part of the application process.

I feel that I would be a great fit for the YOU Therapeutic Mentor position because I bring experience within multiple avenues that support at-risk children. I can support the YOU team in giving children and families your organization serves the most potential to thrive and utilize the resources available to them. I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to discuss my qualifications more with you in an interview. Please feel free to contact me on my cell phone at 617-555-1234 or via email to hrriverway@my.wheelock.edu.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Hawes Riverway

 
Sample Cover Letters

The following are examples of how to write and format a cover letter. The cover letters that you write should be unique to your skills and the positions to which you are applying.

Arts & Sciences Cover Letter

Child Life Cover Letter

Early Childhood Education Cover Letter

Educational Studies Cover Letter

Elementary Education-Special Education Cover Letter

Juvenile Justice & Youth Advocacy Cover Letter

Social Work Cover Letter

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