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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Posts
    5,736

    Default All Things Cover Letters

    Well, I was laid off again last week and I'm "pounding the pavement" looking for another job. The market isn't that great for my trade, so I might have to send out my resume via mail to organizations.

    A little history - I left a company 2 years ago that was going into the toilet fast. I was hired and Company A, then laid off 14 months later. I started working at Company B and was laid off in 7 months. Finally, I was at Company C for 6 months before being laid off. It's just the market here, it's strong or it isn't...and the last couple companies I've been at have been "mom and pop" type places.

    So anyway, now that I have to mail out my resume cold, I'm having trouble with the wording of my cover letter. I want to point out that I've been laid off from my last three positions, so that my resume doesn't look like I'm an unstable employee. But I have 11 years experience in my field, so I don't know if it's necessary. However, being in a management position before, I know what employers want...a solid work history. Three jobs in the last 2 years doesn't look very stable, expecially since 2 of them lasted 7 and 6 months each. So how do I go about wording it? This is what I have so far.

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Due to corporate changes I was recently laid off as a Project Manager Assistant. I am forwarding my resume to you should a position open within your organization. I am seeking a secure position in Project Administration in the Tidewater area.

    I have an extensive background in construction, with an emphasis in Project Management. I have provided administrative support on DOD and civilian projects for eleven years, and am confident that my training and experience match the qualifications you would require. Attached is a summary of my employment and educational history for your review.

    Thank you for your consideration, I look forward to hearing from you should the need arise for project management support.

    Sincerely,


    Thank you for any help. I have minimal experience in cover letters since most of my resumes have been emailed to a particular person after companies called me, so one wasn't necessary.

    ~~ Kim ~~
    You can only be young once. But you can always be immature. ~Dave Barry
    When the hell did I turn DOMESTICATED???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Small warm corner of hell
    Posts
    9,697

    Default

    Don't put the layoff part first. Talk about your interest in their company, how you found them, what you can do for them. Squeeze in the layoff parts elsewhere. Or, if they are all companies in your field, would they really be that conerned about it? I mean, they are probably experiencing some of the same highs and lows, and not be terribly worried about it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Posts
    5,736

    Default

    The larger companies in our area don't seem to have the same layoff problems that the smaller ones do. My friend who's in the same business as I am has been with her employer for well over a year - she recently moved back into the area. Same with other friends who work for larger companies.

    So should I start off with something like...

    I'm interested in working with XXX Corporation because of your excellent reputation among the construction industry. I have worked with several of your employees over the years, and know that my experience fits in with your organization.


    I don't have much experience in writing a cover letter, so I apologize at being so raw at this.
    ~~ Kim ~~
    You can only be young once. But you can always be immature. ~Dave Barry
    When the hell did I turn DOMESTICATED???

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Small warm corner of hell
    Posts
    9,697

    Default

    That's in the right direction, yeah. I have about a dozen different cover letters that I'd love to share with you, sadly, they are on my other computer (currently using mom's), which is in the middle of ex-boyfriend's living room awaiting a downgrade to Windows 98......I'm supposed to go over there tomorrow night, and he's going to burn everything to cd for me, I'll be back with some more examples then!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Posts
    5,736

    Default

    That would be so helpful, thanks!!

    I got a call from a friend who's company needs someone, so that one was easy. But it's the cold mailings that I'm having problems with. Thanks so much!
    ~~ Kim ~~
    You can only be young once. But you can always be immature. ~Dave Barry
    When the hell did I turn DOMESTICATED???

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Small warm corner of hell
    Posts
    9,697

    Default

    I spent EIGHT. long. months. out of work. Anything I can do to help someone else avoid that, I'm happy to do!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    5,750

    Default

    I'd agree to move around your cover letter so the first thing you say isn't "I was laid off."

    That being said, I don't think you must talk about being laid off in the cover letter. You could put on your resume: reason for leaving: RIF due to company reorg or somesuch.

    Di
    You think you've done your journey
    Then you stumble and find that there's such a long way to go

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    594

    Default

    I agree with everyone else's feedback - there really is not a need to mention that you were laid off in your cover letter. And, if you do get an interview, I think it is appropriate to say that your position was eliminated (due to cutbacks or funding or whatever reason). I've been laid off and I'm always up front about my position being eliminated.

    In terms of your cover letter, here is the approach I follow:
    Paragraph One - reference the position you are interested in, where you found the position (Job Site, Corporate Web Site, Newspaper, etc.), and a brief summary of your qualifications.

    Paragaraph Two - provide a general summary of your professional career history, along with the direct skills you have. Since I'm employed in the marketing communications field, I note that I've had experience in advertising, public relations, brand marketing, interactive communications, etc.

    Paragraph Three - I use this paragraph to summarize my most current position.

    Paragraph Four - I use this to summarize a relevant past position.

    Paragraph Five - I ask that the employer contact me and I provide my current contact information.

    Then I include a saluation and end the letter.

    I've had really good luck using this cover letter format. Additionally, many of my friends have also followed this format.

    Good luck with your search.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Posts
    5,736

    Default

    Thank you all so much for your feedback! We are going on vacation next week so I'm going to use that time to brush up on my cover letter skills so I can start sending out resumes when I get back.

    Being unemployed sucks! Then again, I'm getting a lot of cleaning done around the house and catching up with my projects, but that can only last so long. I hope something comes across soon.
    ~~ Kim ~~
    You can only be young once. But you can always be immature. ~Dave Barry
    When the hell did I turn DOMESTICATED???

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Rocky Mount, NC
    Posts
    586

    Default Writing a cover letter

    DH and I are hoping to relocate and I would like to create a cover letter to send along with my resume. I am an x-ray tech working in a trauma center and would like to find a job doing the same thing.

    Does anyone have any ideas? A link to a website that I can refer to?

    Look forward to hearing your advice/responses .
    ~Raquel~
    A Diamond is no one night stand...A Diamond is a long term commitment

    Life as Joe's wife, and Bailey's Mommy too!

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