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Suggested Methods:Definition of terms, review of fact sheet, and presentation of sample cover letters/ letters of application.

Class discussion.

Selection of employment openings based upon learner interest and abilities.

Learner development of a personal cover letter/letter of application in response to a selected advertisement request.

Some Suggested Steps

The Hidden Agenda.  Review the fact sheet to assure the learner understands the hidden agenda of the cover letter/letter of application.  (See handout Fact Sheet.)  

Some possible discussion questions are as follows:

Why do many businesses request the cover letter and/or the letter of application be hand written and submitted with a résumé?

How is the cover letter used to screen potential applicants?

How do Human Resource Managers and Personnel Directors use a cover letter to determine the creativity and level of competency the applicant possesses as a letter writer?

Why MUST the letter be grammatically correct and contain no misspelled words?

Why should a handwritten cover letter/letter of application be in black ink?

Conversely, why should a cover letter or letter of application never be written in pencil?

How and why are cover letters and letter of application written for specific positions?  Why should letters respond to the requirements of the position?

What is the major purpose of the cover letter/letter of application? How can the cover letter or letter of application assist in acquiring a job interview?

How are cover letters/letters of applications sent in response to blind employment advertisement found in newspapers, trade publications, magazines, job listings, and telephone book addresses?

Usage.  Teach learners that cover letters are attached to employment applications, and letters of application are written in response to openings that are advertised or found through networking.  Résumés can be attached to both types of letters.

Writing the Letter.  Distribute the sample cover letter/letter of application information format sheet for learners to use as a guide in creating their personal letters.  Ask learners to select an advertisement or a company that is hiring and write a cover letter/letter of application that they could send.  Direct, assist, and guide learners as they develop letters.  This work can be completed at home as Journal Work for those who need/want extra time.

Writing a Cover Letter/Letter of Application

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