As a junior in college I have written a couple cover letters and it is honestly one of the most daunting tasks for me. Your cover letter is your chance to show the company why they should pick you over the 50 other applications they received. After looking over other people’s cover letters, writing my own and compiling a bunch of tips I think I have finally come up with seven elements of writing a good cover letter.
1. Sell Yourself
Your cover letter is your opportunity to show the company the skills that you possess that will make their jobs easier. What can you add to the company? This is where you take what is on your resume and show how the experience you have obtained qualifies you for this position.
2. What can you gain?
After explaining why you have the experience necessary for the position, explain what you hope to gain from the opportunity. You have to show them how this position will help you grow and further you in your career. Make them feel like they have something to offer you.
You have to show that you know the company. Reference specific details that you find out about the company. This will make showing why you’re interested in the position a lot easier because you can use examples that are unique to the company.
4. Take your time
A cover letter shouldn’t take you 30mins or even an hour. They will be able to see how much time and effort you put into your letter. If it looks like you didn’t give it your best effort, they will associate that with your work ethic. If you don’t put time into your cover letter, how much time will your really put into your position with them?
5. Avoid Cliches
Writing a cover letter is dangerous because there are certain things we want to put in that no one actually wants to read. Don’t go overboard on how great you think the company is because then it doesn’t seem genuine.
6. Show, don’t tell
I hate this saying because it’s probably one of the hardest things to do. Instead of saying that you are a hard worker and organized, give specific examples of when you were hard worker and when you were organized. Saying is only half the battle.
7. Be concise
Generally there are many people applying for one position. Get to the point! Don’t spend two pages rambling about all the things you have done. The three things you need to include are why you want the position, what you can add to the company and why you think this company is a good fit for you and vice versa. That’s it.
These seven things will hopefully make writing your cover letter a little easier!