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Human Resources Position Cover Letter

by Natalie Smith, studioD

Applying for a position in a human resources department is tricky. The recipient of your cover letter and resume is an expert in evaluating these documents, and she will expect perfection. As a result, your cover letter must be planned carefully and show meticulous attention to detail.

Research the Company

The content of your cover letter must demonstrate that you understand the company and the hiring needs of its human resources department. Before you begin writing, conduct thorough research to learn as much about the company, the human resources department and the hiring manager as you can. Begin by reading the company information on its website. The website often contains valuable information that will be useful for the cover letter, like what types of goods and services the company provides and what sorts of jobs it hires for. Once you have a good sense of the company, read its human resources web page thoroughly, if one is available. Next, search for information online about the hiring manager to get a better idea of her background and business philosophy.

Selling Yourself

When you know as much about the company and the hiring manager as possible, you can create a plan to sell yourself to the hiring manager. Ask yourself why the company needs another employee in its human resources department, then come up with a pitch on why you are the right person to fill that position. For example, maybe it is expanding and needs more employees, or maybe it needs someone in particular to help develop HR policies and procedures. This information is important because it allows you to tailor your cover letter to the specific position. Review the job listing to find keywords you should use in your cover letter, such as "conflict resolution" or "hiring regulations."

The Body of the Letter

Begin by stating where you found out about the position, and that you would like to be considered for the job. In the paragraphs that follow, highlight your education and professional experiences that are most relevant to the job. For example, if the job involves working extensively in payroll, point out that you have experience processing payroll systems for previous employers and list a couple of the payroll software programs you have worked with. Distinguish yourself from other candidates by being as specific as possible about how your skills are relevant to the position. Wrap up by thanking the company for its time, referring to the attached resume, and repeating your contact info.

Formatting to Impress

Once the content of the letter is written, you can concentrate on formatting the letter. Use the standard business letter format, making sure that you include the date and your name and contact information at the top. Check the formatting carefully to ensure that there are no errors or deviations from the standard format. Not only will your perfect formatting create a positive first impression, but it also shows the hiring manager that you know what to look for in a cover letter if you are hired.

Revising and Proofreading

The revision stage is critical when you are applying for a human resources position. Read the information on your cover letter with a critical eye. Remove any information in the letter that does not sell your abilities or that is not directly related to your experience in human resources. Then, proofread the letter carefully. As a potential candidate for a human resources position, your letter must be free of spelling and grammatical errors. Read the letter out loud to yourself to help identify errors and awkward phrasing. It is also a good idea to have a friend or colleague proofread the letter for you to provide a second set of eyes.

About the Author

Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.

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