iSchool Career Services Newsletter 10/1/2012

Career News

Cover Letters

Lately I’ve gotten both questions from students about how to write a great cover letter, and comments from employers that they see really crummy cover letters from applicants! I can understand why, cover letters are tough! Here are my tips for making them a strong complement to your resume:
1. The point of a cover letter is to demonstrate how you meet the job qualifications. Have a clear case for this up front. Cover letters are a lot like essays – start with a thesis statement in your first paragraph that outlines your argument for why you are applying and why you’re a good match for the position. Your thesis should make it clear that the reason you’re a good fit is that you have exactly what they’re looking for in the job description, so pull those from the description and speak to the points that are relevant to them.

2. The rest of your letter should back up your thesis with supporting information. If your thesis statement is “This position is a great match for me because I have a combination of customer service experience, technological competency in IT systems, and excellent communication skills” then your next three paragraphs should demonstrate a commitment to those three areas (one per paragraph, probably!). Go for depth, not breadth in your supporting paragraphs, tell a story or use that “Problem, Action Result” (PAR) formula to describe an example of your acumen in that area and how you’ll use it in the position you’re applying for.

3. Close with a very short and sweet thank you, and reiterate your interest in the position (watch out for arrogance, though), and offer to answer any questions or talk further.

4. Consider alternatives to full paragraphs. Creating a bulleted list of your qualifications in the middle of your letter, or creating a table outlining in two columns the requirements of the position and how you meet them, might be great ways to help your letter stand out and convey important material to a busy recruiter.

And remember that there are great resources to help you. Check out the UW Career Center’s Resumes and Cover Letters online workshop, or the cover letter section in their Career Guide. Ask mentors, professors, fellow students, or myself to review your cover letter to make sure you have an effective demonstration of how you meet the job qualifications.

Upcoming Career Events

Mon., Oct 1 | 12:30 – 1:20 pm — MGH 430

Learn about iCareers 

Mon., October 1 | 3:30 – 4:30 pm

Job Search for International Students

Tue., October 2 | 12:30 – 1:20 pm MGH 420

IUGA Career Series: Getting Hired with Osman Surkatty

Tue., October 2 | 3 – 4 pm

Social Media-Find Jobs & Explore Careers

Wed., Oct 3 | 12:30 – 1:20 pm – MGH 420

Employer Information Session: KPMG

Wed., Oct 3 | 3:30 – 4:20 pm – MGH 430

Learn about iCareers  – training and demo

Thurs., Oct 4 | 12:30 – 1:20 pm – MGH 420

Surviving a Career Fair (IUGA Career Series)

Thurs., Oct 4 | 12:30 – 1:20 pm – MGH 420

iSchool Drop-in Career Advising – MGH 370H

Fri., Oct 5 | 12:30 – 1:20 pm – MGH 420

Employer Information Session: Hitachi Consulting

Fri., Oct 5 | 1:30 – 3:00 pm

Employer Information Session: Deloitte Consulting

Fri., Oct 5 | 12:30 – 1:30 pm

Networking for Shy People

Fri., Oct 5 | 2:00 – 3:00 pm

 Resumes, CV’s & Cover Letters

Mon., October 8 | 11:30 – 12:30 pm MGH 430

Employer Information Session: West Monroe Partners

Mon., October 8 | 3:30 – 4:30 pm

Finding Jobs and Internships

Tues., October 9 | 1:30 – 2:30 pm

LinkedIn 101


Highlighted Professional Jobs

University of Nevada – Las Vegas

Library Instructional Designer  (job ID in iCareers: #52)

Alexander Street Press

Product Usability Consultant (job ID in iCareers: #55)


Associate Web Producer (job ID in iCareers: #30)

Georgia State University Library

Analyst Programmer Intermediate


Technical Analyst – Applications Development

East Central University


Email for more information and to apply (also listed on iprojobs)

San Diego Zoo

Associate Director of Library Services

Highlighted Student Jobs or Internships

UW School of Art

Digital Imaging Assistant (work study)

Contact for more information and to apply (also listed on istujobs)

UW Information School

Student Office Assistant – Work Study

Washington State Library

National Digital Newspaper Program Assistant (job ID in iCareers #34)


Knowledge Services Graduate Level Intern (job ID in iCareers #28)


Training Data Analyst  (job ID in iCareers #29)

The Borgen Project

Web Development Internship

Contact to learn more and apply (also listed on istujobs)


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