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Writing the Cover Letter

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  1. Writing the Cover Letter

  2. What is A Cover Letter? • Marketing Tool: Product = YOU • Persuasive Writing: Invitation to find out more about you and land you an interview • A way to make the reader’s job easier • Targeted Response to A Job Description and/or a Particular organization—not generic • ANSWERS THESE QUESTIONS: Can you do the job? Will you do the job? Will you fit in? • Writing Sample

  3. Four Steps for Cover Letter Writing From Idealist.org • Conduct Research on The Organization • Deconstruct the job or internship description • Consolidate and prioritize the key requirements you have extracted • Plug yourself into the organizational and job requirements

  4. The Job Description Climate and Energy Program (CEP) Internship, WRI Position SummaryWRI's Climate and Energy Program (CEP) seeks a motivated, well-organized, and detail-oriented intern to support our climate change and energy policy work. The successful candidate will support CEP staff in a wide variety of activities including publications management, event coordination, database management, financial management, and other tasks related to general program administration.

  5. 1. Research: World Resources Institute • Climate, Energy and Transport Division Projects: • COP-15: Countdown to Copenhagen • U.S. Federal Climate Policy • International & U.S. Action • Business & Markets • Technology & Green Power • Energy Security & Climate Change • Information & Analysis Tools

  6. 1. Research: World Resources Institute • From Dec. 7-18, 2009, the world will convene in Copenhagen, Denmark to create a new global climate agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-15). • WRI’s experts have been actively involved in the negotiations leading up to COP-15 and are analyzing various dimensions of a new agreement, among them: Vulnerability and Adaptation; Forestry and Reduced Emissions for Degradation and Deforestation (REDD); Technology and Technology Transfer; Developing Country Actions; and Finance.

  7. 1. Research: World Resources Institute Staff • Jonathan Pershing • Director, Climate, Energy and Pollution Program • Rob Bradley • Director of International Climate Policy • Debbie Boger • Director of U.S. Climate Policy • Pankaj Bhatia • Business/Climate Change Associate III • GHG Protocol

  8. 1. Research: World Resources Institute News from Website: On January 15, 2009, the US Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) issued the Blueprint for Legislative Action—a detailed framework for legislation to address climate change.

  9. 2. Deconstruct the Job Description Climate and Energy Program (CEP) Internship, WRI Position SummaryWRI's Climate and Energy Program (CEP) seeks a motivated, well-organized, and detail-oriented intern to support our climate change and energy policy work. The successful candidate will support CEP staff in a wide variety of activities including publications management, event coordination, database management, financial management, and other tasks related to general program administration.

  10. 2. Deconstruct the Job Description QualificationsKey qualifications for this position include: • An undergraduate degree with an excellent academic record. Administrative support and/or nonprofit work experience a plus.• Mastery of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint) and the Internet. Experience with constituent database systems a plus.• Excellent written and oral communication skills. • Ability to juggle multiple priorities and work under pressure with tight deadlines is a must.• Familiarity with and interest in climate and energy issues a plus.

  11. 2. Deconstruct the Job Description ResponsibilitiesThe intern will work in the following key areas:• Assisting with production and tracking of CEP publications.• Assisting with events coordination and setup. • Entering contacts into WRI's Constituent Relationship Management system (Raiser's Edge) and maintaining the accuracy of contacts.• Serving as a point of contact for internal requests for CEP information.• Processing contracts and payment requests for consultants, grantees, partners, vendors, etc.• Assisting with preparation and tracking of project budgets, grant reports, and funding proposals. • Organizing and updating the program's internal wiki and network drives.• Providing general office and administrative support as needed.

  12. DEGREE: Minimum: Bachelor KNOWLEDGE: Energy policy Climate change TECHNICAL SKILLS: MS Office Suite Database PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE: Publications Program Administration Support Event Coordination PERSONAL QUALITIES: Motivated, organized FINANCIAL EXPERIENCE: Processing payments TRANSFERABLE SKILLS: Oral and written communication, dealing with public, detail-oriented WORK ENVIRONMENT EXPERIENCE: Juggling, Pressure, Deadlines 3. Key Requirements

  13. DEGREE: Minimum: Bachelor KNOWLEDGE: Energy policy Climate change TECHNICAL SKILLS: MS Office Suite Database PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE: Publications Program Administration Support Event Coordination PERSONAL QUALITIES: Motivated, organized FINANCIAL EXPERIENCE: Processing payments TRANSFERABLE SKILLS: Oral and written communication, dealing with public, detail-oriented WORK ENVIRONMENT EXPERIENCE: Juggling, Pressure, Deadlines 4. Plug Yourself In

  14. Two Types of Cover Letters • 1) Letter of Application • Specific job • 2) Letter of Inquiry • Interesting company, or lead

  15. Cover Letter Structure • Your name • Address • Phone • Email • Date—February 14, 2009 • Contact Person's Name • Contact Person's Position • Company Name • Company Address (Don't forget this.)

  16. Cover Letter Structure • Dear Ms. Jones, (Try to learn the NAME of the person you are applying to) • First paragraph I am writing to apply for the position of ………. advertised in ......... on ........ (date). I am extremely interested in the work of ..……, particularly....... I feel I can bring…….to……..(why are you interested in the job and employer, a succinct demonstration of your knowledge of them, and why they should look at you)

  17. Paragraph One SAMPLE I am writing to apply for the Energy and Climate Change Internship currently posted on World Resources Institute’s website. I have been actively following WRI’s role in the negotiations leading up to COP-15 and am very interested in supporting this and other programs through this internship. I believe I would bring valuable skills, experience and knowledge to the support of publications, events and other priorities in the Climate, Energy and Transport division.

  18. Second Paragraph • In broad terms and in one or two sentences, list the top experience, knowledge, training, and skills that are relevant to the selection criteria and the job description. • Select one or two relevant highlights to explain in more detail

  19. Paragraph Two SAMPLE At Yale School of Forestry & Environmental StudiesI am a candidate for a Master of Environmental Management with a focus on Global Climate Change Science and Policy. I have two years of non-profit work experience; excellent interpersonal, communication, computer and internet research skills; and significant event coordination experience. At _____, I served as administrative support to the Director and excelled at organizing the weekly roundtable program, managing multiple deadlines for grants and publications, and keeping the website up-to-date. As co-leader of ________, I initiated and have been responsible for organizing two semester-long lecture series focusing on climate change and energy policy.

  20. Third Paragraph • CONNECT THE DOTS FOR THE EMPLOYER • Tell them why you are a great fit for the company and how your skills will meet their needs.

  21. Paragraph Three SAMPLE I hope to be attending COP-15 as part of the ______ class at FES next winter, and am very enthusiastic about the possibility of supporting WRI’s “Countdown to COP-15” and other projects this summer. I would love to learn more about the planning for COP-15, and believe my combination of climate change science knowledge and administrative experience would make a valuable contribution to the Climate, Energy and Transport division.

  22. Closing • Thank them for considering your application, tell them that you have attached a copy of your resume, and when you would be available for an interview. Provide your contact details (Phone / Fax / Email) • Yours sincerely, • Your signature • Print name

  23. Closing SAMPLE My resume and a writing sample are enclosed for your review, and I am happy to answer any additional questions you might have. I would welcome the opportunity to visit Washington, DC to interview for the internship, and can be reached at fes.student@yale.edu or (203)333-4444. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, (hand sign here after printing if sending by mail) Fes Student

  24. Writing Tips • Use Keywords from job description • Always use a reader or readers to review your materials • Develop a standard set of phrases for the basics of the cover letter, but target all content to a particular employer or job • SPELL AND GRAMMAR CHECK • No more than one page • Standard fonts, single-spaced • Print on quality paper if sending by mail, white or off-white • Make a pdf if emailing to avoid track changes showing up

  25. CDO/FES Resources for Cover Letter and Resume Writing • Peer Career Advisors (PCAs) Office Hours: • Meredith~ Mondays, 9-12 , Donaldson Cafeteria • Audrey~ Tuesdays, 2pm-4pm, Knobloch Environment Center • Communication Coaches • Website: environment.yale.edu/cdo • CDO Staff, by appointment • Career Library