Interviewing Tips/Cover Letters



I am a retail employee hoping to transition out of retail into a job in an office, like a receptionist or something along those lines. I am currently in college and I am working on an associate's in business, but I am hoping I can get something more related to that degree now. However, I am running into a slight hindrance: cover letters.

It has been a few years since I had to write a cover letter. Besides that, the ones I wrote from back then do not stand out in any way. I really don't know how to form a cover letter or what content should go in it and how that content should be laid out.

Many career websites have said to make the cover letter three to five paragraphs long, each paragraph seeming to be three to five sentences. Is it necessary for a cover letter to be that long? Does the letter even get read? And what should it contain? Just highlights of personal strengths that are relevant to the sought-after position?

Dear Elizabeth:

Sorry for the extreme delay in answering this.  It landed in spam.

Yes, a cover letter should still be done and they are read.  With that said, there is no hard and fast rule how many lines it should be.  You basically need 3 paragraphs:  The introduction stating what position you are applying for or what potential position you wish to inquire about.  The 2nd paragraph focuses on your skills.  In other words, why would you be a good match for that position?  You just give some highlights both job related and personal characteristics.  The last paragraph is asking politely for an interview and leaving a contact number so they can reach you.

Hope this helps.  Warmly, R. Butler

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Ruth Butler


I will answer questions about resumes and how to do well on an interview. I am a former employment counselor and I have owned my own resume and career counseling business since 1982.


I have over 24 years of experience in this field. One of my greatest achievements was being asked to serve on the Employment Services Committee of our local outreach. I also conduct workshops and am a guest speaker at many schools and for our local outreach.

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