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Application letter for technical writer

Background

In the era of social media, the idea of writing a cover letter to introduce your resume may seem outdated. However, the cover letter still serves a few critical functions. If the resume is characterized by breadth (giving a broad overview of your qualifications), the cover letter is characterized by depth (choosing a few most significant qualifications to cover in detail). Written in paragraphs rather than bullet points, the cover letter is the first writing sample your employer will see from you. In paragraphed prose, it is easier to market your unique qualifications and how you will fit in with the culture of the company. An effective cover letter will create a picture of you as a potential employee, and inspire a potential employer to learn more about you.

Keep the following tips in mind as you write your cover letter:

  • Your cover letter is essentially an argument for why you should be granted an interview. Make sure to support the claim that you are qualified for the position with evidence. Demonstrate your authority by speaking in detail about your qualifications, and SHOW the reader that you have the skills and abilities necessary to do the job at hand. The more detail you offer and the more precise your language is, the more the reader will be able to picture you doing the job. See the sample cover letter below for examples of “showing.”
  • Use your audience analysis research to help you connect with the company and to choose the appropriate tone, level of formality, and level of technicality.
  • Follow the format for professional letters found in the Professional Communications chapter.

Outline

A general outline for cover letters:

  1. Salutation: Make your best attempt to find a specific name (or at least the job title) of the person to whom you should address this letter. If you cannot find the name, you may address the letter “Dear Hiring Manager.”
  2. Opening Paragraph: State why you are writing, specifically naming the position to which you are applying. Indicate how you learned about the position (networking if you can). In one sentence, use your audience analysis research to establish a connection with the company. Finally, in one sentence, summarize your strongest qualification/s for the job.
  3. Body Paragraph(s): Build each paragraph around a key qualification or professional strength that relates to the job for which you are applying. Open the paragraph with a claim about this qualification/strength, and then provide a developed illustration of a time in your work or academic history when you used/excelled at this skill, or used it to benefit others. For example, if the job requires excellent customer service skills, you might discuss a time in which you used your customer service skills to diffuse a conflict or increase your company’s profits. It can be effective to conclude your middle paragraphs with sentences that express how these past experiences prepare you for the potential job.
  4. Closing Paragraph: Thank the reader for his or her time and consideration. Gesture towards an interview. You may explicitly request an interview, or you may wish to include a phrase like “I look forward to discussing my qualifications with you in person, soon.” If there is any information the reader should know about getting in touch with you, include it; if your phone number and email address do not appear elsewhere in the cover letter, include them here. You may refer the reader to your enclosed resume.

Sample Cover Letter

12248 SE Wilderness Dr.
Portland, OR 97214April 29, 2017Mr. Doug Jones
Director of Human Resources
EVZ
600 Minnow Lane
Seattle, WA 12345
Dear Mr. Jones:
At Portland State University’s computer science job fair on April 9, 2017, I met with your representative, Ms. Karen Lincoln, regarding your entry-level Database Administrator opening. Not only am I a DBA and SQA certified CIS specialist, but I also have over a decade of experience in the steel and manufacturing industry EVZ specializes in. My strong manufacturing and technological background prepares me to help EVZ continue your impressive track record of safety improvements. Introductory Paragraph

Your introduction should discuss the following:

– The title of the job for which you are applying

– Where you heard about the position

– A connection with the organization and its goals

– How your experience matches the position

This paragraph should discuss the following:

– More connection with company goals/mission

– Support for your claim that you can help them achieve goals/mission

– Specific example based on information in résumé

This paragraph should discuss the following:

– More detail on position requirements

– More detail supporting your claim that your experience fulfills these requirements

– Specific example based on information in résumé

This paragraph should do the following:

– State your main objective: an interview

– Provide contact information

– Close the letter in a professional manner, thanking the reader

– Provide signature block

CHAPTER ATTRIBUTION INFORMATION

This chapter was written by Megan Savage, Portland Community College, and is licensed CC-BY 4.0.

License

Technical Writing by Allison Gross, Annemarie Hamlin, Billy Merck, Chris Rubio, Jodi Naas, Megan Savage, and Michele DeSilva is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Technical Writer

, the following Technical Writer cover letter example will help you to write a cover letter that best highlights your experience and qualifications. If you’re ready to apply for your next role, upload your resume to Indeed Resume

Dear Hiring Manager,

I’m excited to apply for the Technical Writer position at Flagship Engineering. As an organized and detail-oriented individual, I have a proven record of meeting deadlines and maintaining the communication chain to ensure that projects run smoothly. With my varied skills and experience, I believe I would be a great fit for this position.

At Crossover Software, I worked with the software engineers to plan, develop and write manuals for the latest software projects. I focused primarily on document changes to ensure that the electronic documentation was edited to reflect each of the software updates. I coordinated projects with the executive team to ensure that every task was completed and meetings went smoothly. As a result, I was able to improve the turnaround time by an average of three days for each update.

I adapt well to the changing needs of business and can anticipate changes ahead of time to ensure smooth transitions between updates. I enjoy researching new document management systems to streamline the revision process. I’m quick to pick up on the technical terminology within an organization and create a comprehensive library of terms for use within the company. One of the major projects I led at Crossover Software involved updating the operational procedures after they overhauled the software system. I wrote and edited many of the new onboarding manuals that helped decrease new hire turnover by 25% in the first year.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing about the Technical Writer position. At Flagship Engineering, I believe I can grow and succeed as a technical writer while applying my experience and skills to help the team achieve its goals.