Writing a Cover Letter landscape My Name My Street Address My Town, State, and Zip Today’s Date Name of Addressee Title of Addressee Name of Company Street Address Town, State, Zip Salutation (Mr. or Ms. or Mrs. Do NOT guess “Mrs.” if you don’t know the marital status of a woman. If you’re unsure, the default is “Ms.” If you can’t find a name after extensive searching, use a title. If you can’t find a title after extensive searching, don’t use a salutation at all, just skip to the content as shown later in the example cover letter.) Introductory sentence: BRIEFLY states where you found the ad and expresses enthusiasm for the job. The next sentence BRIEFLY states why you’re a good fit for the position. The rest of the paragraph expands upon that, responding to specifics in the ad and explaining how you are in sync with the company. It’s a SHORT paragraph. The second paragraph: Should be meaty, using language from the ad and specific examples from your academic or work experience. Talk about projects you’ve completed, work you’ve done. Use action verbs, NOT passive language. “I designed” not “It was designed.” The company needs work done, it’s your job in the letter, to use examples from your past to show you’re the person who can come in and get the work done using language from their ad. Be excited about your work, talk about your specific skills. The company won’t know what you are capable of until you break it down step by step and tell them what you’ve done. If necessary, you can use two paragraphs for this. Do not assume they’ve read your resume, in most cases, they haven’t. Don’t spend a lot of time writing about what this job can do for you. This job will be great for anyone they hire. Closing paragraph: Reiterate your enthusiasm for the company and add a follow up sentence. Don’t forget to sign your letter. Sincerely, Your name From the FAA Career Services Office · mplante @illinois.edu Sample Landscape Job Ad Opportunity: Junior Landscape Designer Robin Key Landscape Architecture is in search of an entry-level landscape designer with a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture and 1–2 years work experience. Responsibilities can include - Participation in design charettes - Creation of rendering and presentation drawings - Preparation of construction documents including layout, planting and irrigation plans using AutoCAD - Assist in the preparation and editing of contracts, technical specifications, cost estimates, and budgets Skills required - Minimum Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture with 1–2 years experience - High proficiency in AutoCAD - Experience with presentation applications, e.g., Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and SketchUp - Meticulous attention to detail and commitment to producing accurate and high-quality work - Effective organizational skills - Excellent oral and written communication skills - Friendly personality and good client-relations skills Please send a cover letter, resume, and portfolio (max 7mb PDF) to [email protected]@com Deadline: 5pm September 26th, 2011 (please note change from original posting) No phone calls please—only candidates whose profiles closely match requirements will be contacted during this search Writing a Cover Letter landscape Michele Xavier Plante Room 108 Architecture Building Champaign, IL 61820 217-333-1000 [email protected] Robin Key Landscape Architecture 333 Hudson Street, Suite 1001 New York, NY 10013 September 25, 2011 Dear Ms. Key, I was excited to find your advertisement for Junior Landscape Designer posted on the American Society for Landscape Architecture’s Joblink. With my Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, my creativity, technical skills, attention to detail and my work experience, I feel I’d be an excellent fit for RKLA. I was very interested in the Serviam Gardens project and how your firm interacted and collaborated so closely with the community. I am most attracted to projects that take a strong team approach, such as the design charettes in which I participated on the Urbana-Champaign campus. One such project focused on the University’s historic round barns. We worked with architecture students to examine ways in which the three barns could be adapted for new uses. My team analyzed the site, gained an understanding of its cultural significance, and proposed concepts that serve current needs and facilitated productivity. I developed a master plan that expanded the utility of biofuel alternatives as a significant part of the future landscape experience. Through my university courses, I have had experience with a wide range of skills required for a position at RKLA. My projects have ranged from designing multi-use neighborhoods to green roofs to regional trails. In addition to creating renderings and presentation images using Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and SketchUp, I have prepared construction documents in AutoCAD and created videos. In my sales work for Prosek’s Greenhouse and Rick Orr Florist, I served clients with friendliness and efficiency. In my supervisory position as a Perennial Technician at Cantigny Park & Golf Course overseeing a four-member crew, I collaborated with my team so each member felt their contributions were valued. I’m passionate about sustainable and maintainable designs, and am interested in the wide variety of work available at RKLA. You can find my portfolio online at issuu.com/docs/plante. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss ways in which I could put my skills and creativity to work for Robin Key Landscape Architecture. Sincerely, Michele Plante Michele Plante NOTE: Good communication skills are demonstrated through good writing so you don’t need to point out that you can write. It would be preferable to give an example of organizational skills—they’re also demonstrated here by including all components of the application. This isn’t a perfect letter, but it’s a very good start.
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