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How to write a cover letter for your summer job

A good cover letter sets the stage for the reader to accept your resume as something special and worthwhile to read, and could ultimately land you an interview on Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket for the summer.

• Keep your cover letter brief, clear and to the point. Show why they should invite you for an island interview- nothing more. At this point, they’re not interested in anything but your qualifications. So, if it doesn’t relate to the job, don’t put it in your letter.
• List the requirements given in the advertisement. For each requirement, give your qualifications. Use short sentences and simple language. Stress your accomplishments.
• If you don’t have one or two of the requirements, don’t ignore them, show whatever strengths you do have. For example, if the requirement is that you must be able to use an PC with Microsoft Windows, state that you can operate a Macintosh- if it is true. It shows that you are able to learn quickly.
• Design your letter to be work and employer-centered, not self-centered. Your letters are marketing tools that should address the needs of island employers and invites them to learn more about you.
• Keep your letter to one page. Check for spelling and typographical errors. Make sure you include your name, address, and telephone number at the top of the letter. Mail it promptly as many managers on Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket start recruiting early for summer jobs in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
• Always address your letter to a specific individual with his or her correct title and business address. If you are uncertain, address it: "To Whom It May Concern".
Seize Attention. The first paragraph must grab the reader’s attention by telling them exactly what you want for a summer island job. Tell the position you’re applying for and how you learned of the island job.

Get Down to Business. The middle paragraph(s) of your letter must present your strongest qualifications that match the position requirements and make you the best candidate for the job. You must emphasize the work experience and other accomplishments you have related directly to the island job. The paragraph(s) can make reference to your resume. The paragraph(s) must convince the prospective employer that you are qualified for the job.

Wrap it Up. The final paragraph must draw the attention of the employer to want to offer you an interview. This paragraph must clearly state that you would like an on island interview, when you are available, and how you can be contacted. You can even indicate that you will call them during a specific time period to discuss the possibilities of an interview.

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