Cover Letter For a Job Fair: Examples and Tips
One of the best ways to land a job, especially your first job, is to connect to as many employers as you can. There’s no better place to do that than a job fair. Of course, you need to show up armed with a professional appearance, outgoing personality, resume, and cover letter.
But the question is, how do you write a cover letter for job fair events? It’s a bit different than sending one for a dedicated job application, but it’s something anyone can do with a little help. Start by reading the example letter here and checking out some great tips.
Cover Letter Sample For Job Fair in .docx Format
Here is a great example of a cover letter that a student might take to a university-sponsored job fair.
Download example (Word version)
Cover Letter Example For Job Fair – Text Format
Dear Hiring Manager,
My name is Keith Ninja. I came to the University of Danville Student Job Fair in hopes of connecting with a variety of employers. Ultimately, my goal is to find a part-time job that will allow me to apply and develop my existing instructional skills and make a valuable contribution to the business that hires me. I’ve attached my resume with more details about my education and experience. Now, I’d like to share a bit more about what I think I bring to the table.
I am currently a Junior at the University of Danville. I am studying Art Education and psychology, and plan to pursue my MFA in Music Therapy after I graduate. Eventually, I plan to work with people who have suffered from traumatic brain injuries. When I’m not in school, I have worked summers at a local movie theater. There, I sell tickets, work the concession stand, and do my part to keep things clean and safe. This job has helped me develop the following skills:
- Cash handling
- Point of Sales machine operation
- Customer service
I’m grateful to have held this job for more than four years, but now I need to work in the Danville metro area so that I am closer to school.
Are you looking for someone who is personable, motivated, and a fast learner? If yes, I think I would be a great fit for your company. Maybe we can meet in the next week or two?
How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job Fair: Tips
As you can see, this cover letter is a bit different from other cover letter examples we provide for specific positions.
That’s because you are not really sure whom you’d click with during the fair. So how do you write a generic cover letter that still makes a solid impression? Here are our tips.
Start With a Generic Outline
Go to the job fair with an open mind. You never know. A company you’ve never heard of turns out to be the perfect match for you. Of course, since you’re casting so wide, it’s hard to be specific.
In any other case, you would write a cover letter that was specifically tailored for a single company. When you attend a job fair, you’ll be meeting a range of people and sharing your cover letters and resumes with many different companies. So, personalization really won’t work. Instead, you’ll need to write a one-size-fits-all cover letter.
Start with a general outline:
- Think about a certain industry you plan to target
- Consider which of your skills and experiences will be the most stand-out
- Put down a high-level overview of these
- Add a punchy cover letter opening
- Round up with a concluding paragraph, offering to check your resume, connect on LinkedIn, or contact you for more details.
Show Your Personality
There may be hundreds, even thousands of attendees at a job fair. Chances are, the hiring managers accepting applications will probably not remember you. That’s why you have to stand out.
Write in a way that is friendly and personable. Talk about your work style, and discuss your ideal work environment. Show how you would be a desirable employee and colleague. Share a unique personal fact or two to really make a mark.
List Your Skills
Think of your hard and soft skills that will be valuable to any employer in a range of Industries. Make a list of those and add them to your cover letter. Use bullet points to make them stand out similarly to how the writer did in the sample above.
Use Impeccable Spelling and Grammar
Once again, a job fair may generate hundreds of applicants for any position. Use your professionalism and attention to detail to stand out. Your cover letter should be painstakingly edited so there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. Take your time doing this. Invest in grammar and spell-check app.
Final Tip: Do Some Preliminary Research
Don’t lose your house to attend a job fair without learning as much as possible about the attending companies. If you can identify which employers are most interesting to you beforehand, you can better plan your time at the job fair. You may be able to find some information about the companies that will be present on the job fair’s website, as well as any specific schedules for other activities and events.
New to the Workforce? Check Other Entry-Level Cover Letters
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How to Write an Effective Cover Letter for a Career Fair
Published: Jan 3rd, 2024
Are you attending a career fair and looking to make a strong impression on potential employers? One key element of your job application that you shouldn't overlook is your cover letter. In this article, we will discuss the importance of a cover letter at a career fair and how to write an effective one that highlights your skills and experiences.
Understanding the Importance of a Cover Letter
Before we dive into the details of writing a cover letter specifically for a career fair, let's first understand why cover letters are important in job applications in general. A cover letter is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the hiring manager, showcase your qualifications, and express your enthusiasm for the position.
The Role of a Cover Letter in Job Applications
A cover letter serves as a personal introduction and allows you to present yourself beyond just your resume. It gives you the chance to explain why you are interested in the company and how your skills align with the job requirements. A well-crafted cover letter can make you stand out from other applicants and increase your chances of getting an interview.
Why Career Fairs Require Special Attention
Career fairs are unique environments where you have the opportunity to meet multiple employers in a short amount of time. As you navigate through different booths and engage in conversations with recruiters, your cover letter can serve as a tool to make a memorable impression. It helps you demonstrate your professionalism, research skills, and interest in the specific companies you are targeting.
When attending a career fair, it's important to remember that recruiters often meet hundreds of candidates in a single day. They are bombarded with resumes and brief interactions, making it challenging for them to remember each individual. This is where a well-crafted cover letter can truly make a difference.
By including a cover letter with your resume, you are providing the recruiter with additional information about yourself and your qualifications. It shows that you have taken the time to research the company and tailor your application specifically for them. This level of effort and attention to detail can set you apart from other candidates who may have simply submitted a resume.
Furthermore, a cover letter allows you to highlight specific experiences or skills that may not be immediately evident from your resume alone. It gives you the opportunity to provide context and explain how your background aligns with the company's values and needs. This can be particularly beneficial if you are transitioning into a new industry or have a non-traditional career path.
During a career fair, recruiters are often looking for candidates who not only meet the basic qualifications for the job but also demonstrate a genuine interest in the company. By including a cover letter, you can showcase your enthusiasm and passion for the role, which can leave a lasting impression on the recruiter.
Additionally, a cover letter can help you establish a connection with the recruiter. By addressing the letter to a specific individual and mentioning any mutual connections or shared interests, you can create a sense of familiarity and rapport. This personal touch can make your application more memorable and increase the likelihood of being invited for an interview.
Overall, a well-written cover letter can significantly enhance your chances of success at a career fair. It allows you to go beyond the limitations of a resume and present yourself as a qualified and enthusiastic candidate. So, take the time to craft a compelling cover letter that highlights your skills, aligns with the company's needs, and leaves a lasting impression on the recruiters you meet.
Key Elements of an Effective Cover Letter
Now that you understand the importance of a cover letter in the context of a career fair, let's explore the key elements that make a cover letter effective.
When it comes to structuring your cover letter, it's important to keep it concise, clear, and well-organized. Start with a strong opening paragraph that introduces yourself and expresses your interest in the company. In the body paragraphs, highlight your relevant skills and experiences, and explain how they align with the job requirements. Finally, end your cover letter with a strong closing paragraph that reiterates your enthusiasm and includes a call-to-action.
One of the main purposes of a cover letter is to showcase your skills and experience that make you a strong fit for the position. Avoid simply restating what is on your resume. Instead, focus on specific examples and achievements that demonstrate your qualifications for the job. Use bullet points or subheadings to make it easy for the reader to scan and understand your key points.
Each cover letter should be tailored to the specific company you are applying to. Take the time to research the company's values, mission, and culture, and incorporate this information into your cover letter. By showing that you have done your homework and understand the company's needs and goals, you will make a stronger impression on the hiring manager.
Furthermore, when structuring your cover letter, consider the use of paragraphs to break up the text and make it more readable. This not only helps the hiring manager navigate through your cover letter, but it also adds visual appeal and makes it easier for them to find the information they are looking for.
In addition to highlighting your skills and experience, consider including relevant anecdotes or stories that demonstrate your abilities. This can help bring your cover letter to life and make it more engaging for the reader. For example, if you are applying for a marketing position, you could share a story about a successful campaign you led and the impact it had on the company's bottom line.
Another important element to consider when tailoring your cover letter is the use of keywords. Many companies use applicant tracking systems to scan cover letters and resumes for specific keywords related to the job requirements. By incorporating these keywords into your cover letter, you increase your chances of getting noticed by the hiring manager.
Writing a Cover Letter for a Career Fair
Now that you have a solid understanding of the key elements of an effective cover letter, let's discuss how to write one specifically for a career fair.
Researching the Companies at the Fair
Prior to attending the career fair, research the companies that will be present. Visit their websites, read about their current projects, and learn about their hiring needs. This information will allow you to tailor your cover letter for each company, demonstrating your specific interest and understanding of their business.
Addressing Multiple Potential Employers
It's common to meet multiple potential employers at a career fair. In your cover letter, make sure to address each employer individually. Avoid using a generic cover letter template and instead customize each one based on the specific company and position you are interested in.
Making Your Cover Letter Stand Out
In a busy career fair environment, it's important to make your cover letter stand out. Consider using a visually appealing template or design, while still maintaining a professional look. Use concise and energetic language to capture the reader's attention and showcase your enthusiasm for the job. Additionally, proofread your cover letter carefully to avoid any typos or grammatical errors that could detract from your professionalism.
Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your Cover Letter
As you work on writing an effective cover letter for a career fair, it's important to be aware of common mistakes to avoid.
Avoiding Generic Language
Avoid using generic language in your cover letter. Instead, use specific examples and concrete details to illustrate your qualifications. Stay away from cliches and overused phrases that could make your cover letter sound unoriginal or insincere.
Proofreading is crucial to ensure your cover letter is error-free. Spelling mistakes, typos, and grammatical errors can create a negative impression and undermine your professionalism. Take the time to carefully proofread your cover letter multiple times, and consider having a trusted friend or family member check it as well.
Neglecting to Follow Instructions
Make sure to carefully read and follow the instructions provided by the employers at the career fair. Some companies may request specific information or require you to complete an online application in addition to submitting a cover letter. Failing to follow these instructions could result in your application being disregarded.
In conclusion, writing an effective cover letter is essential when attending a career fair. By understanding the importance of a cover letter, structuring it properly, highlighting your skills and experiences, and tailoring it to each company, you can make a strong impression on potential employers. Avoid common mistakes, such as using generic language, overlooking proofreading, and failing to follow instructions. With these tips and strategies in mind, you can write an effective cover letter and increase your chances of landing your dream job .
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How to write a cover letter for a job fair.
Standing out at a job fair takes more than professional attire, a firm handshake or a polished resume. Preparing a cover letter demonstrates your seriousness and professionalism and gives you the chance to make a strong case for yourself to as many potential employers as possible. For maximum success, prepare two kinds of cover letters: personalized and general. It is impractical to write a personalized cover letter for every employer at the job fair, and generalized cover letters have significantly lower impact, but including a letter with your resume is good form and may increase your chances of landing an interview.
Personalized Cover Letter
Study the job fair’s list of confirmed employers, often available at a job fair website or by calling the job fair organizer. Research employers that look compelling by reviewing their websites or, if the employer is in retail, visiting one of their stores. Select three to five employers that interest you most and plan to draft a personalized cover letter to each of them.
Use job search websites to find out if each employer is recruiting for specific positions that interest you. If so, read the advertisement carefully and take notes on which specific qualifications the job requires. Either way, jot down key skills, attitudes or experiences the employer values in its employees. Read the employer’s mission statement and history and make notes, using your resume, about where your experience and skill base overlaps with each employer’s needs and commitments.
Choose a business letter template from your word processing program’s selection of templates, or feel free to design your own. Select a clean, legible font no smaller than 11 point, and set the document margins at 1 or 1 ½ inches.
Address each cover letter to a specific person or people expected to represent each employer at the job fair; if nobody is listed, address your letter to “Hiring Manager.” Write a unique opening paragraph in each letter that briefly introduces you to each potential employer. If you know of a specific job opening, express your interest in the position, explain why you think you are qualified for it and briefly describe any direct experience you have in a similar position. If you do not know of any openings, express your interest in your employer’s industry, being as specific as possible about why you think you are a good fit for their company and what experience you have in similar settings. Do not exceed four sentences.
Use your notes and your resume to draft one to two short paragraphs describing three to four of the experiences that you feel prepare you for the job you seek at each particular employer. Use experiences that suggest your unique skill set and highlight qualities such as leadership, teamwork, organization and enthusiasm that most employers value whether they say they do or not. You may use the same examples for each personalized cover letter if they apply, but edit the paragraphs so that they speak directly to each employer. If you can relate your experience to specific information you have about an employer’s needs or priorities, do.
Write a final two to three sentence paragraph stating that you look forward to hearing back from the potential employer. Briefly note your interest and availability for a phone or in-person interview and your intention to follow up by email or phone within two weeks.
General Cover Letter
Choose a professional template for your cover letter or design your own. Set the document margins between 1 and 1 ½ inches and choose a simple, clear font no smaller than 11 point.
Address your letter to “Hiring Manager.” Use your opening paragraph to thank the employer for meeting with you at the job fair, and briefly explain the type of work you are looking for, whether you seek a position as, for example, a sales associate, web developer, receptionist or would be interested in one of a few different roles.
Draft one to two paragraphs highlighting significant work or other experiences that you feel prepare you for the kind of work you seek. Though you cannot know the employer’s needs, use concrete examples to highlight your skill set and qualities such as leadership, teamwork, organization and enthusiasm that most employers value.
Close your letter with a brief paragraph expressing your availability for an in-person or telephone interview and your intention to follow up via email or phone within two weeks.
Ask employers you meet at the job fair for their name and contact information or for their business card. Send thank you cards as soon as possible to each employer you met with and liked, briefly expressing your pleasure to have met them and your interest in working for them. If you gave the employer a generalized cover letter at the job fair, use this moment to write one to two brief statements about why you feel you are particularly well suited to their company after having met and learned more about them.
Proofread your cover letter multiple times for errors, use the active voice and try to keep your letter around ¾ of a page. Always include a current, polished resume when you submit a cover letter to a potential employer.
How to write job application letters →.
Example of a Generic Career Objective →
How to Handle Panel Interview Thank You's →
How to Write Employment Prospecting Letters →
How to Write a Letter to Explaining Why You Want a Job →
How to Sell Yourself in a Thank-You Letter to Get the Job →
- Heald College Career Services: Cover Letter and Career Fair Tips
- Proofread your cover letter multiple times for errors, use the active voice and try to keep your letter around ¾ of a page. Always include a current, polished resume when you submit a cover letter to a potential employer.
Darla Himeles is a freelance writer, editor and poet living in Castine, Maine. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College's English and education programs and a current student in Drew University’s MFA in poetry and poetry in translation program, Himeles writes frequently about education, wellness, writing and literature.
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Writing a cover letter that accompanies your resume for a specific position usually states your interest in the job as well as a statement or two that shows you've studied the organization and respect its work or reputation. However, a career fair cover letter is akin to a letter of introduction that contains specific information about you and your career but doesn't include company-specific information. Reviewing some cover letter examples for career fair companies will help you craft a stronger submission.
Use an Organized Format
You can create your own application packages for the career fair. It can include copies of your cover letter, resume, list of references, writing samples and portfolio examples to hand to prospective employer representatives. You can put your documents into a simple folder with your contact information on it. Recruiters won't be happy having to lug home a three-ring binder, so keep your packet simple.
Use a Strong General Opening
It's best to start a more generic cover letter with a strong opening sentence that summarizes who are you, professionally. If you know the companies exhibiting in advance, you can write more than one resume, tailored to different industries or jobs, recommends Virginia Tech 's Career and Professional Development department.
For example, you might open with, "I'm an enthusiastic recent graduate of microbiology from the University of Arizona looking for an entry-level career role in research and development. I have significant work expertise through internships with two major research laboratories and am excited about joining an organization that rewards forward-thinking researchers with opportunities for professional development and on-the-job learning. I'm available for relocation anywhere in the United States."
State Why You're There
Don't forget to let potential employers know why you're at the job fair. Write one or two sentences about your attendance at the career fair. Include the precise name of the fair, its date and location. The reason you want to mention this is because many employers track applicants and how they learn about vacancies with their companies.
When you identify that you're a career fair attendee, it's easy for the company to track interest in the organization. In addition, you might receive recognition as a career fair attendee that you might otherwise not have received simply because of the effort to make an in-person appearance instead of simply sitting at home dispatching cover letters and resumes via email.
Provide Some Work Experience Information
Write one to two paragraphs about your functional education, training and experience, recommends jobs website, Indeed.com . If you've worked for organizations with excellent reputations in your industry or field, feel free to include their names. Prospective employers may look twice at applicants who have worked for companies that are known to have strict criteria and a reputation for hiring only the best professionals.
Include Some Accomplishments
Once you've given your abilities, prove your value by listing some accomplishments you've had. Use concrete examples about your work history. If you are a recent graduate, use your internships and college projects to describe your expertise. If you're a mid-career professional, briefly describe how your job skills and expertise have progressed through the years.
For example, an accountant who started in an entry-level position and received promotions to become department leader might describe his work history as, "In the 11 years since I joined my current employer's accounting department as an accounts payable clerk, I completed my undergraduate degree while working full-time. Within two years, I was promoted to junior accountant and given increasingly responsible assignments over the next seven years. Two years ago, I successfully passed the CPA exam and am now the department manager."
Finish With a Strong Summary
Try to make a strong last impression on the readers. Conclude your cover letter with information about your career interests. Research the career fair to determine if a particular industry will be represented. For example, some of the Big Four accounting firms recruit during college campus career fairs.
Other career fairs might focus on federal government employers or industry-specific areas such as food and beverage, hospitality or engineering. If you're attending a targeted career fair, state your interest in the industry and ask for favorable consideration of your qualifications.
- Virginia Tech: How to Prepare for Career Fairs
- Indeed: Writing a General Purpose Cover Letter: Tips, Template and Examples
- Create your own application packages for the career fair. Make several copies of your cover letter, resume, list of references, writing samples and portfolio examples to hand to prospective employer representatives.
- Dress for the career fair as you would for an interview. Many companies send their recruiters and hiring managers to conduct on-the-spot interviews. Use your appearance and application materials to convey a message to recruiters and hiring managers that you're prepared to accept a position.
Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry," and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ruth resides in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.
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How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job Fair
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A job fair is an opportunity for job seekers to meet several potential employers in one place, all of whom are looking to hire. It should be approached with the same professionalism as an interview, from the clothes you wear down to the cover letters and resumes you bring. While it might be impossible to get noticed by every company in attendance, if you concentrate your efforts on a handful of likely candidates, a job fair can be a fruitful experience.
Research the companies that will be attending the job fair ahead of time by contacting the host of the job fair, or by browsing its website. List your top four or five choices. You will not be able to write a cover letter for every potential employer so concentrate on your best bets.
Research the specific positions available at your target companies, if the information is available ahead of time. This will allow you to personalize your cover letter.
Use the first paragraph to explain who you are and why you are writing to them. If you know the specific position you want, this is the place to mention it by name. Let the employer know whether you heard about the job from a recruiter or a current employee.
Use the second paragraph to show the employer that you have researched her company by explaining why you would be qualified for the job. Highlight any experience or skills you have specific to the position. Avoid telling the employer how much the job would benefit you. Instead, write in terms of how you would be an asset to the company.
Use the final paragraph to express your interest in an interview and mention that you are enclosing a resume. Let the employer know whether you plan to follow up on the application, and how you plan to do so. Close by thanking the employer for reviewing your application.
Do not write a generic form cover letter to use for every company at the job fair. Recruiters understand you can't write a letter for everyone there. If you find a company of interest, ask permission to send them a cover letter and resume after the fair is over.
- CareerChoiceGuide: Career Fair Success
- Virginia Tech University Career Services: Cover Letters: Types and Samples
Kyle Clayton has been a creative writer since 2007 and now works as a freelance writer for LIVESTRONG.COM. He has worked in the fitness industry since 2007 and enjoys writing about nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyles. Clayton is the winner of the Rex Reed Screenwriting Award and a UCLA Showcase Finalist. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in screenwriting from UCLA.
How to make your cover letter general for career fairs.
When job searching, you might be asked to submit a letter of intent. When referenced in a job posting , a letter of intent is similar to a cover letter. It includes information on why you are qualified for the position.
However, you can also write a letter of intent how submitting a general application to a company you are interested in, or when you submit a general application how a job fair. When you submit a letter to show your interest in working for a company that hasn't listed available positions, this is similar to an inquiry letter. Whether you are submitting a letter of intent how a specific fair or are fair expressing your interest in working for a company, make sure your letter is well written, professional, and shows why you are a good fit for the company.
Letters of intent are used as a means of introduction to personalize your application letter connect the hiring manager to your resume. They make it easy for job cover cover employer to see exactly what your qualifications are and what you can bring to the table that other applicants cannot. A well-written letter will help your how get noticed and provide the employer with details on why you're a strong candidate and should be considered. A good letter can help you land an interview. You should write a how of intent when an employer requests one in a job listing.
This letter is to be for or posted in fair to your resume and other required application materials. You can also job a job of intent when you want to express interest in working for a company that how not have any specific jobs listed.
Use this letter to show your letter fair the company, and to explain why you would be a good fit for the organization. Begin with a professional salutation. Find out the name of the employer or hiring manager, and job for in your opening.
If you do not know to letter you should address the letter, call the office and ask. Begin your letter by cover yourself cover explaining why you are writing. If fair are responding for a specific job listing, say so. Otherwise, simply explain that you are interested letter working for the company.
This is where you connect your skills and how to the job listing. Take the time to carefully review the job description and the requirements listed letter it.
Mention one or two important requirements of the job, cover explain how you meet those requirements. Provide specific examples from job past work experiences. If you are letter calling the company , for how your skills would make you a good fit for letter company. Conclude your letter with a brief how on how you will follow up.
If the job listing says not to follow up, simply state that you look forward to hearing from the employer. If you are emailing fair letter, conclude with your email signature.
Use business letter format. Use business letter format for your letter. When sending an email, include a clear subject line.
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If you decide to send your letter in the body of an email, be sure to include a concise job line that explains why you fair emailing. If you cover applying to a letter job, include how name and the job title. If you decide to for the letter via email, you also do not need to include any contact information or the date at the top. Instead, include your cover information in the email signature. Research the company.
This job especially important if your letter is a cold call. You cover to explain how you would add to the job, for you can only do this if you know what the company is looking for.
Don't letter rehash your resume. Instead, pick out your strongest qualifications and for them. Your goal is to showcase your best credentials to the employer job that they letter be persuaded to read your resume, not to provide a full career history.
Cover Letter Considerations
Consider using bullet points. A good strategy for formatting your letter of intent is to include a bulleted section that highlights your qualifications for the job. Keep it short. Your letter should be no longer than a page. If you write a longer letter, fair hiring manager will not likely fair it.
Proofread your letter. Consider asking a friend or family member to read it over before you submit it. Your letter letter to be professional and polished. This is a sample letter letter intent for applying to a job. Download cover letter of intent template compatible with Google Docs and Word Online or see fair for more examples.
Business City, NY I am writing to express my strong interest cover the position of library aide cover Acme University, as job on Monster. I cover a recent fair graduate with extensive library experience and a record of excellent cover and oral communication. I believe I would be an ideal fit for this position at your organization. I am skilled at communicating effectively with diverse people across various platforms.
In my position how administrative assistant at Longmont Library, I how dozens of patrons each day on the letter and in person. I also answered fair queries via email and social media. I received recognition from the circulation department head for my friendly demeanor, patience, and ability to communicate professionally with all patrons.
I am passionate about staying up to date with the latest library best practices. I have job years cover experience working with some of the most bring used library management software, including Ex Libris and Koha. I job also familiar with the latest OCLC for standards. I believe my experience, communication skills, fair interpersonal abilities would make me a strong fit for this position. I look forward to speaking with letter more about my qualifications.
By Alison Doyle. Body Paragraph 1: Body Paragraph 2: Highlight Relevant Skills. You might break this section into two paragraphs, need on the number of skills you mention.
Body Paragraph 3: Call to Action. Sincerely, Olive Applicant. Introduction Briana Applicant Dear Mr. Qualifications and skills I bring to the table include:
Best, Briana Applicant. Continue Reading.
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Do you need a CV/Cover Letter for a Jobs Fair?
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You are likely to hear conflicting advice on whether you need to bring both your CV and cover letter to jobs fairs. Although it is generally agreed that it is wise to take along your CV, some job sites suggest there is no need to prepare cover letters. This is arguably not the best advice. If you want to stand out from the crowd and secure your next dream job, one of your biggest weapons is to do your homework and arrive at the jobs fair armed with both your CV and cover letter.
Bring up to date CVs
If you are planning to attend a jobs fair in your nearest town or city, you are likely to have plenty of time to prepare, so how best can you present your credentials effectively to every person that you meet? It will be easier to connect with recruiters and make the most of the jobs fair experience if you know exactly what you are going to say and to whom. This is where your CV and cover letter come in. Your CV will provide a snapshot of everything that potential employers need to know about you in a nutshell, from essential contact information and skills, to employment history and work experience. Having up-to-date, accurate printed copies to hand, ready to give to recruiters, will provide all the information they need at a glance after you have made initial contact. That way, they will be able to follow up with candidates who have made the right impression after the event. So, by handing out printed CVs, you are more likely to be called to interview.
A good point to make is that you should try to give your CV to prospective employers at the start of any conversation. You can then reference certain achievements you would like to mention, or the recruiter may wish to highlight a skill that has been brought to their attention and ask you to elaborate, providing a good talking point and steering the conversation in the direction you would like it to take. Job event organisers usually recommend printing out around 20 CVs prior to attending any event.
Tailor your cover letter
However, if you have done your research, you will know exactly how many CVs you are likely to need because you will have drawn up a list of the companies you plan to approach. If you apply for a job, employers expect you to include a cover letter along with your CV, so why not take along a tailored cover letter for the companies where you would like to work? This shows you are serious about wanting to work there. Job hunting can be a tough battle, so by taking the initiative to prepare a cover letter for the company in question, you will be more likely to outshine other hopefuls.
Presenting a cover letter that has been specifically written for the individual company will increase your chances of being hired, and I cannot stress enough the importance of tailoring each letter. Show you know about the company, its vision, mission and corporate values, and write your cover letter to reflect these. If a job advert has been posted on the company website, there will be a list of requirements, so make sure you can illustrate that you meet each of the company’s needs, with examples, of course. To this end, you are demonstrating that you are not just interested in working at the company, but you are the perfect candidate for the job.
The Employers perspective
Thinking about it from a potential employer’s perspective, who are they more likely to hire? The candidate who shows up to the job fair with all the chat but no CV and cover letter, or the candidate who can demonstrate effectively that they are the right person for the job with an up-to-date CV and professional cover letter?
In online applications, a polished CV and first-class cover letter can help to seal the deal, so, in the same way, boost your prospects by bringing along your CV and customised cover letter for each organisation you plan to approach at the jobs fair. Plus, don’t forget your paper and pen so you can make notes that may be useful when it comes to following up on contacts you have made. It is not always easy to stand out from the crowd at job events, but if you show organisation in this way, you will know you have done everything in your power to increase your chances of success.
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- Career Planning
- Finding a Job
- Cover Letters
Is a Cover Letter Necessary to Apply for a Job?
When You Need to Submit a Cover Letter With a Resume
(Almost) Always Send a Cover Letter
When not to send a cover letter, cover letter writing tips, how to format the letter, proofread and test before you submit.
Do you really need a cover letter when you apply for jobs? You might wonder whether you can get by with just a resume — particularly if the company doesn't specifically request or require a cover letter .
It's only natural to wonder if a cover letter is necessary. After all, writing cover letters can be a time-consuming and challenging task. If there's an option to skip the labor involved in writing one, it's tempting.
But in most cases, and particularly when the overall job market or your specific industry is competitive, a cover letter will help your candidacy. Done right, your letter will highlight your most relevant skills and qualifications for the job, making you stand out in a sea of applicants.
Your cover letter is a good way to show an employer what you want them to know about you, without the hiring manager having to figure it out themselves from your resume.
Many career experts agree that sending a cover letter is almost always the best decision.
Use Your Letter to Make a Match
For instance, Susan Heathfield , a human resources expert, says, "Your cover letter is particularly important. It's the job searcher's opportunity to help the potential employer see that the applicant's skills and experience match what the employer seeks. A well-written cover letter distinguishes your application."
Show Why You're a Strong Candidate
A cover letter can make a good impression on a prospective employer and is an excellent way to show that employer why you are a strong candidate for the job. Resumes are helpful for giving an overview of your career , but a cover letter can tell a story about specific, relevant experience. They're also a chance to show off your personality .
Explain Potential Issues
Cover letters also provide a useful way to explain away any potential concerns the employer might have about your candidacy, such as gaps in your employment or the fact that you will need to relocate for the job.
Make the Case for Your Candidacy
A cover letter allows you to write a compelling case for your candidacy. Why would you want to skip this opportunity? Even if a job application does not require a cover letter, you can send one anyway.
Often, employers expect a cover letter even if they do not directly ask for one. Sending one, particularly when it is not required, demonstrates that you are a motivated candidate.
Cover letters allow you—in narrative form—to tell the employer exactly why hiring you, instead of the numerous other candidates, is a good decision.
If you're applying online for a job and there is no way to upload or post a cover letter, don't worry about it. You don't need one.
When the employer specifically states what they want in a job application (resume, references, etc.), you don't have to write a cover letter if it is not included on the employer's list.
However, you may want to include an abbreviated email cover letter if there’s space to do so. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make your pitch and impress the hiring manager.
Make sure your cover letter is a good one. While a well-written cover letter may increase your chances of getting an interview, the opposite is also true. A poorly written cover letter will likely cause an employer to reject your application. Therefore, only send one if you have the time to write a clear, concise, and professional letter that makes a strong sales pitch for getting an interview.
Write a targeted cover letter that specifically relates your experience to the job posting. Keep it short and sweet — aim for three to five paragraphs — with each paragraph focusing on an aspect of your candidacy. Read the job description carefully, so you can make sure your cover letter really speaks to the requested qualifications . Bottom line, you want to make it clear why you'd be beneficial to the company in the position.
Review cover letter samples. Before you start, look at some cover letter examples to get ideas for your own letters. While you don’t want to copy samples, reading them helps reveal what kind of tone is appropriate. Plus, you might discover a better way to emphasize your experience.
Format your cover letter correctly. Familiarize yourself with cover lettering formatting guidelines and make sure that your materials meet these standards. Hiring managers will notice if you don’t follow these rules.
You want your experience to stand out, not your formatting or style choices. Keep it simple and let your skills shine through.
Be sure to edit your cover letter thoroughly. Typos and grammatical errors will demonstrate a sloppy work ethic to the employer. Review proofreading tips to remind yourself of what to watch out for. A few examples of common cover letter typos and mistakes: misspelled names of companies or interviewers, incorrect addresses, and inconsistent verb tenses and/or punctuation.
When you’re finished reviewing your final document, have a friend take a look as well. A fresh set of eyes may catch mistakes that you’re no longer able to see. Even the smallest error can work against you during the job application process, so take the time to get it right.
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How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job Fair
Persuading a company to have an internship.
A cover letter is an extra tool you use to sell yourself to an employer. If you fail to submit a cover letter to job fair recruiters, you are selling yourself short. The cover letter is a professional way to introduce yourself to a recruiter, encouraging him to take a look at your resume and ultimately hire you for the job. It is a good idea to bring general and targeted cover letters with you to the job fair. Targeted cover letters are impressive, in that it sends a message to the job fair recruiter that you took time to perform research before attending the fair.
Type your name and mailing address at the top of the cover letter. Include the month, day and year of the job fair's date. Use left alignment for your contact information and date.
Do not put a company's name and address on a general cover letter. If you know that a company you are interested in will be present at the job fair, create a targeted cover letter just for that company. In a targeted cover letter, include the name of the company, as well as the mailing address, with left alignment. You can often get this information from the company's website.
Type “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Human Resources” for the cover letter greeting. If you want to put a name on a targeted cover letter, be sure you know the name of the company representative attending the job fair. One way to get this information is to contact the company human resources department prior to the job fair.
Type the body of the cover letter. In it, mention the type of industry job you are interested in, instead of mentioning an exact job position. Examples of industry job types include customer service, management, sales, education and health care. If you conduct research to determine the exact jobs a specific company is hiring for, create a targeted cover letter for that company. In a targeted cover letter, mention the exact job position you are interested in. For instance, you may list the job as “certified nursing assistant,” instead of “health care.”
Create multiple versions of your cover letter. Depending upon your job preferences, you may create one for management positions, another for customer service and a different one for education. By doing so, you ensure that each recruiter receives a cover letter that is targeted and relevant to a specific job type.
Specify in the body of the cover letter that you learned of the open position through the job fair. Include two to three sentences summing up your qualifications and experience.
Close the cover letter by asking for an interview at a mutually convenient time. Include your best contact number and the hours you can be reached on that number.
Thank the company representative for his time. Add a professional closing, followed by your name and handwritten signature. Examples of professional closings include “Sincerely,” “Respectfully” and “Cordially.”
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Address a Cover Letter When the Name Is Unknown →
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Faizah Imani, an educator, minister and published author, has worked with clients such as Harrison House Author, Thomas Weeks III, Candle Of Prayer Company and "Truth & Church Magazine." Her dossier includes JaZaMM WebDesigns, assistant high-school band director, district manager for the Clarion Ledger and event coordinator for the Vicksburg Convention Center.
11 Ways to Prepare for the Job Fair
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It’s that time of the year again – the biannual Binghamton University Job and Internship Fair! As a senior who has done this before and plans to do it again, it’s understandable if you’re feeling nervous, even if it isn’t your first time attending. With great opportunities comes great stress, but here are some tips from the Fleishman Career Center, and tips I’ve personally learned to bring you some peace of mind. Plus, I’ll be there so feel free to say hello!
Produce the perfect resume
Resume writing is not the most exciting activity, but it can be made a lot easier by using the Binghamton University resume template , where you can select a resume format based on your year and general field. Check out the Career Guide as well for all sorts of information relevant to career building. Make sure to print at least 10-15 copies of your resume and store it in a folder or padfolio. The more, the better – you never know who you might end up pitching to!
Reach out to mentors and advisors
The Mentor Match Program is a great resource. Based on your career and study interests, you can match up with Binghamton University alumni who can advise you and even provide potential job and internship opportunities. Your mentor can help you prepare for the job fair, look over your resume, and even inspire you with new career paths. Each school within the University has their own career prep offices, such as Harpur Edge , SOM Career Services , Watson Career and Alumni Connections , which are all great resources for resume and LinkedIn-building assistance! Remember, too, that you can filter through Binghamton alumni on LinkedIn and form connections there.
Identify your career cluster
Your first step should be to identify what career cluster you are a part of. Career clusters include: Arts & Communication, Business & Entrepreneurship, Education & Human Services, Engineering & IT, Government, Policy & Law, and Science & Healthcare. Unsure of what your future looks like? There is also the Exploring career cluster . Keep in mind that while some of these employers may seem largely business-oriented, they may be looking for people in different career clusters, so make sure to take a closer look.
Dress for success
Wear your Sunday best! It’s recommended you dress business casual at a minimum. Wear clothing such as slacks, blouses, button-downs and dress shoes. Fortunately, there is a great exclusive discount at the JCPenney Suit-Up . If you can’t make it, stores such as Burlington and Walmart also offer affordable prices.
Research the employers
Research is crucial. Once you’ve narrowed down your desired employers, research their company motives and goals. Look through their company webpage and their Handshake and LinkedIn profiles. I definitely recommend bringing a list of employers , along with notes identifying each one, so you remember who you’re speaking with. And bring a pen! You may be given information on the fly, so you need to be able to quickly jot down and cross off who you’ve spoken with.
Hone in your elevator pitch
Breathe, be calm and remember that some of these recruiters may be just as nervous as you. We’re all human, and they understand that you are a student looking for opportunities, and that’s naturally a vulnerable and stressful event. It gets easier the more you do it, and you can practice for this with the Fleishman Career Center and by using Big Interview . Come with an explanation of your career path and experience, as well as questions.
With your research and elevator pitch perfected, having a list of go-to questions will make your conversations with recruiters go from nerve-wracking to more easygoing. These recruiters are there to represent and talk about their companies. Simply asking where the recruiter’s hometown is and how they got involved with the company can be a great fallback question. But focus your questions with the idea of learning more about the company for your own needs.
Handshake is an incredible resource, and is especially useful for job and internship searching because it’s mainly geared towards students and new grads. So instead of competing against the larger masses, you’d be competing against other students. You can filter it through companies that like to hire from Binghamton University, as well as filter for visas for international students. You can check out the companies coming to the STEM Job fair and the general Spring Job Fair through Handshake! You can also schedule a consulting appointment through Handshake with HireBING !
Finalize your checklist
Make sure you bring your student ID, proper work attire, a folder of resumes, pen, personal list of companies, breath mints, map of the fair, and your phone, as sometimes the booths let you apply through QR codes. Also, make sure your hireBING account has the correct name, major and class year, as you will check in and receive a nametag with your information. Bring your confidence and peaceful mindset. Don’t forget to check out the Fleishman Center’s guide for more details and tips!
Connect after the fair
You made it, and the war is almost over! Make sure to follow up with the recruiters you spoke with, whether it be through a connection request on LinkedIn, or a polite and professional email. Active interest makes a better impression than passive interest, so don’t be afraid to contact these professionals. Check out their company pages and see what kinds of positions are open.
Succeed in the search
For some final tips, It’s typically recommended to apply through the company webpage rather than directly through LinkedIn or Handshake. Cover letters are also of great importance depending on your field, and if the application says optional, sometimes it’s better to assume they mean required. Even if you feel like you don’t qualify for all of the expectations in a role, it’s still worth applying if you think you’re a good fit! Don’t forget, you can seek help through the Fleishman Center, and stop by their office in UU-133. Best of luck, and remember that even if the day does not end with you landing the perfect pitches or the perfect opportunities, it’s a step in the right direction. Try not to feel discouraged, and make sure to treat yourself to a nice break for all your hard work! Lauren Woodring is an intern for the Office of Media and Public Relations, and a senior double majoring in English and psychology. She’s looking forward to starting her career after graduation, and she can be found playing board games with friends, earning her cat’s love with treats and writing poetry in her spare time.
Have questions, comments or concerns about the blog? Email us at [email protected] .
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Cover Letter resources
- Cover Letter Writing Guide - Penn Career Services - A writing guide on cover letters prepared by Penn Career Services that covers the purpose of cover letters, cover letter etiquette,
- Job Search Letters - Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) - These OWL resources will help you write job application letters, thank you and follow up letters, as well as effective acceptance and rejection letters. Also included are links to other OWL resources geared for entry-level and skilled labor positions.
- Microsoft Office Templates - Access a wide selection of MS Word templates with formatting for various styles of resumes and cover letters.
- Skill Sumo Future Proof: How to Craft a Cover letter This video, from Academic Video, will teach you how to craft a cover letter.
- What to Include in the Resume and Cover Letter. From Sage Video, this online tutorial provides tips for developing your resume and for writing cover letters.
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- Last Updated: Feb 12, 2024 12:03 PM
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