ABS 497 -4.3

Cover letters and resumes are recommended, and in some instances required, for job applications. To find available positions, you can look on www.Indeed.com (Links to an external site.) or www.monster.com (Links to an external site.). Make sure to find a position in your area, as you’ll want to make sure you understand the needs of your local employers. To begin, identify a position that interests you as a potential career opportunity.
To begin this assignment, watch the Developing a Professional Cover Letter and Resume webinar (Links to an external site.). 
Developing a Strong Cover Letter: Cover letters allow you to clarify, detail, and expand on your most relevant skills and competencies. In addition, a cover letter allows you to showcase your written communication skills.

Using the job description, identify three skills or qualifications that match your background and type them out. 
Next, using the format suggestions from both the webinar and cover letter sample, create a three- to four-sentence paragraph that communicates the three matching skills and/or competencies you would like to highlight for the employer. The goal is to tailor the body of your cover letter to the position you seek. 
It is important that you have a compelling cover letter. To write an impactful cover letter, you need to answer the following questions before you begin composing it. Starting with these questions will help provide a clear and concise message for the person reading your cover letter.

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Why are you interested in the position? Consider what makes the position, organization, or company of interest to you. 
What three skills or competencies do you possess that match the skills the employer is seeking in a candidate?  

You can find these skills by viewing the job description. These specific skills are the reason every cover letter should be unique for each job for which you apply. 

The Cover Letters (Links to an external site.) resource contains step-by step instructions for creating a cover letter including: formatting suggestions, tips regarding how to highlight your best skills and qualification and how to tailor your letter for specific job you wish to apply to. 

Developing a Strong Resume: Creating a strong resume is an important component of successful job searches. Your resume, along with your cover letter, serves as your personal marketing documents and your first impression to prospective employers.  To create a strong resume, you must first identify the message you want the reader to receive and determine the skills and qualifications you would like to highlight on your resume. The characteristics you highlight are generally based on the position you would like to apply to. A strongly written resume demonstrates your ability to attend to details and distinguish relevant from irrelevant information.

To prepare your resume:

Login to My Career through your Student Portal (Links to an external site.). Revisit your career goal and identify the top 3-5 skills or qualifications that make you a strong candidate for this career/position.

If you already have a resume: Use the resume resources (Links to an external site.) to update your resume and target the industry or occupation you are seeking.
If you do not have a resume: Use resume resources (Links to an external site.) to develop one. You may also use the resume template found at http://www.ashfordcareerresources.com/marketing-yourself.html (Links to an external site.)  under the Resume heading. Target the resume to the industry or occupation you are seeking.

Note: You may choose the position you selected in the Week 1 Post Your Introduction  Discussion 1 for this assignment as long as you did not received any feedback from your instructor that your choice was not appropriate.

Your cover letter should be up to 1 page in length and your resume should be 1 – 2 pages in length. Submit your completed resume to Waypoint for grading. 
It is recommended that you submit your cover letter and resume as two separate documents.

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