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Video:Learn ESL: How to Write a Cover Letter

with Marnie Hall

Writing a solid cover letter is important when looking for a job, especially when English is your second language. Watch this how-to video from About.com to see instructions for doing it on your own.See Transcript

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Transcript:Learn ESL: How to Write a Cover Letter

Hi! This is Marnie Hall for About.com, and today we're going to talk about writing a cover letter.

What's a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a written way of introducing yourself. It usually accompanies a resume or another kind of business letter.

Writing a Cover Letter

Cover letters are easy to write if we think of them as being in three parts. There's an opening section, a middle section, and a closing section. Before we get into these sections, however, make sure that you include your name, address and date at the top of the letter, and underneath that, include the recipient's name, business name, address before a salutation, such as "Greetings Mr. Smith."

Introduction of a Cover Letter

In the opening section of the letter, you want to get the reader's attention, as well as just telling the main purpose of your letter. If you're looking for a job opening, you may want to inquire if that job opening is open in your field - or if it will become available in the future. If you already know about a specific job opening, mention that instead.

Middle of a Cover Letter

The middle section of a cover letter is the main part of your letter. If you're writing to inquire about a job opening and would like an interview, you want to give your reader as many reasons as possible to bring you in for that interview. This includes any relevant information like education, past job experience, and special achievements that would really make the recipient of that letter want to bring you in for an interview.

Closing Paragraph of a Cover Letter

Okay, so you've stated your purpose for the letter. Now it's time to move onto the closing paragraph. This isn't just to summarize your letter, however; really, the closing paragraph can help you secure your desired outcome. Be sure to include very important information such as an e-mail address and cell phone number, so your potential employer can contact you easily.

Extra Tips for Writing a Cover Letter

A couple of extra tips: be sure that when you're writing a cover letter, that you write to someone specifically. For example, if you're inquiring about a job interview, write to the person directly in charge of hiring. Also, always make sure to sign your letter. It looks very unprofessional if you don't.

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