They don’t teach cover letter writing in college. Because of this, many recent graduates have only a vague concept of what a cover letter is. A cover letter is an introduction to your future employer. Done well, a cover letter will show a company that 1. You can write 2. You have a personality 3. You’re worth a second shot. To achieve these, you need to know the 5 points to include in your cover letter.
5. Your knowledge of the company:
Do your research and include a line or two about why you want this position, at this company, over all the others you could have applied to.
4. Evidence you’re human:
Your cover letter will be read by a human so make sure you leave your robot impersonation out. This means avoiding cliché and verbose form phrases like, “I am looking to seek employment,” and, “I am the best candidate for the job.” Let your body of work speak for you, not your unsubstantiated claims.
3. A bit about you:
Just make sure to keep it short. If you have a personal experience to the company, certainly include a line about it. If you’re wondering what personal information is relevant, ask yourself, “does this information relate back to the position or highlight my skills in some way?”
Double and triple check your cover letter before hitting send. If you aren’t sure if, “no one” is one or two words, Google it. A cover letter is an introduction to a company and you want it to be flawless.
1. A solid closer:
Always thank the point of contact for their time and reiterate your interest in the position. Do not offer to set up an interview, interviewers will make that decision themselves and will find it presumptuous if you assume something else. A simple note like, “I look forward to discussing my skills with you further,” leaves your cover letter on an optimistic note, without sounding pushy.
Cover letters are not as ambiguous as they seem. And the best part is, the more times you write them, the better you will get at it.
Let us know how you feel about cover letters, and the best tips you’ve ever received in the comments below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by blmurch