Crafting the perfect cover letter

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Everyone wants to put their best foot forward when looking for a job, especially these days, when there are fewer jobs available and more people applying for them.

As job searches go more high-tech, we wondered if cover letters matter anymore.

KHQA talked to experts who say your cover letter is *as* important, if not *more* important than your resume.

Cover letters can be the most difficult to write, but you shouldn't underrate their importance.

That's the word from Al Waters, the Director of Career Services for WIU. He says your cover letter introduces the job experience you'll detail in your resume and it's your chance to talk directly to your future employer.

Waters said, "Far superior to a resume is the coverletter. That's where you're selling yourself and you have to be very pointed. That's where you put your objective statement, you identify your qualifications, that's where you're going to refer to the enclosed resume and you're going to invite yourself for an interview."

Here's a clear formula for writing a cover letter.

- The first paragraph should express why you're applying or your objective.

- The second paragraph underlines your qualifications for the job.

- In the third paragraph, refer the employer to your enclosed resume.

- Wrap up the cover letter in paragraph 4 by inviting yourself to an interview.

What kills a cover letter?

Waters said, "You have to be careful when writing a cover letter that has "I," "I," "I" doesn't prevail. Don't permeate the entire letter with "I," this will be demeaning to you as a person and boring to the reader."

Use creativity in your writing and don't forget to individualize your letter.

Find examples of coverletters on WIU's Career Services website at

By the way, if you're looking for a job you don't have to leave your home to job search.

WIU is holding an online career fair March 9 to June 30. Log onto to take a look.

Also try our Tri-State Job finder link at You can peruse hundreds of job listings there ready for the taking.