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March 10, 2009


The middle paragraph of a cover letter allows you to move beyond your initialdeclarative sentences, and into more expansive and revealing, statements about who you areand what skills you bring to the job. This is another opportunity to explicitly summarizekey facts of your job history. The middle paragraph also offers you the opportunity tomention any connection or prior experience that you may have with the company.

Tell the employer in this paragraph how, based on concrete references to your previousperformances, you will perform at in your desired position. This does not mean makinggeneral, unqualified statements about your greatness such as "I'm going to bethe best you've ever had" or my "My energetic multi-tasking will be theultimate asset to your company."

Comments should be backed up by specific references. Try something along the lines of"My post-graduate degree in marketing, combined with my four years of retail bicyclesales would make me an strong addition to Gwinn Cycles' marketing team."

Or "Meeting the demands of a full-time undergraduate education, a position asstudent government accountant, and a 20-hour-a-week internship with Davidson Managementprovided me with the multi-tasking experience needed to excel as a financial analyst atWhittier Finance."


Many advertisements ask you to name your salary requirements. Some avoid the problemaltogether by ignoring this requirement, and this may be the safest route – anynumber you give might either price you out of a job (before you have the chance tonegotiate face-to-face at an interview). Alternatively, you might be pegged at a lowersalary than you might otherwise have been offered. If you must give a salary requirement,be as general as possible The safest bet is to offer as general a range as possible("in the $30,000s"). Put the salary requirement at the end of the paragraph, notin your first sentence.

Some cover letter writers use another paragraph to describe their accomplishments. Thismakes sense if, for example, your experience lies in two distinct areas, or you need toexplain something that is not evident on your resume, such as "I decided to leave lawschool to pursue an exciting venture capital opportunity" or "I plan to relocateto Wisconsin shortly". Do not get overly personal - "I dropped out ofbusiness school to care for my sick mother" is touching, but will not necessarilyimpress employers.


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