You are ready to launch your job search with a carefully crafted résumé but what about a cover letter. Do you need one? And, if so, what should be included?

There is no doubt the cover letter is a key part of an effective job search and can help you stand out from other candidates.
So the answer to the first question is “Yes, you do need a cover letter”! But what then should be included?

Your cover letter should match the style / formatting of your résumé and should offer the reader additional information about
who you are and what you offer an employer. Each letter should –

* Be addressed to the person who will be reviewing your résumé.
* Mention the position you are applying for (larger organizations advertise more than one position at a time).
* Focus on the value you bring the employer and highlight information not found in your résumé. This is your opportunity to be you (while maintaining professionalism)!
* Demonstrate your knowledge about the organization and how you can meet their needs.
* Be error free. Proofread! Proofread! Proofread!
* Call for action! Ask for an interview.

Simple is the way to go! Use a three or four paragraph format. The first paragraph should note the position being sought and briefly
mention why you are interested. The next paragraph, should lay out specific skills that are relevant to the position being sought.
Use an introductory sentence followed by bullet points. This method is quite effective and helps highlight areas of interest.
Your closing paragraph can be more personal and should call for action.

Make sure your cover letter does not simply rehash the same information found in your résumé. Put your cover letter to work for you by addressing the specifics found in the job post. Showcase strengths, interests, achievements, and your motivation related to their needs and challenges. Refer the reader to your resume but add more details to highlight your experience.

With a carefully crafted résumé and a well-written cover letter, you will most certainly increase your interview opportunities!

Sample closing –

I am seeking to follow God’s Call to move to a new assignment and I believe it would be worthwhile for us to meet.
Please contact me by phone or email to set up a mutually convenient time to schedule an interview where we can discuss
your specific needs and my qualifications. Thank you for your time and consideration in reviewing my information. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

About the Author:
Tammy Shoup, Executive Director and Head Writer of Breakthrough Résumés, is among a small number of professional résumé writers in the U.S. who has earned the title of Certified Professional Résumé Writer from the Professional Association of Résumé Writers / Career Coaches. Her firm is the country’s leading Christian resume writing service dedicated to helping Pastoral Candidates and Ministry Workers develop dynamic job search documents that win interviews.Shoup is also a member of the National Résumé Writers’ Association and Career Directors International. Her activity in both organizations ensures that her knowledge of industry and employment trends remains current. It also indicates her dedication to continuing education in her industry. Her work is published in both JIST and Barron’s career books. Please review Shoup’s information at www.breakthroughrésumé or or inquire directly to Tammy Shoup at

Wishing you the best in your job search campaign! †