I’ve had the privilege of working with three businesses this fall, and I am helping one business with their hiring process. I have seen a lot of cover letters and resumes over the last few weeks and thought it might be helpful to share some tips on cover letters.
First off, write one! Unless the job posting specifically states NOT to include a cover letter, you definitely need to write one. It is your opportunity to sell yourself and make your resume stand out from the many others the company will receive. I have been shocked at how rare it is for applicants to include a true cover letter in the message field when they submit their applications online. I wonder when someone does not care enough to write a cover letter, if they really care about the job and if they will care enough to be an excellent employee if hired.
Second, your cover letter needs to be tailored to the job description (your resume does too, but that’s a post for another day). Do not send a generic-message cover letter. It is basically a given that you think you have the qualifications for the position or you would not be applying for it. What the resume reviewer needs to hear is WHY you are qualified.
You should have thoroughly read the description of the job you are applying for, and your cover letter needs to reflect that. Address the key qualifications stated in the job description and substantiate your claims that you meet those requirements. For example, if the job description states that public speaking skills are required, you might share in your cover letter that you developed public speaking skills through your position as president of the xyz campus organization. Make it easy on the resume reviewer to see that you are a good fit for the job.
Third, almost every position requires good written and verbal communication skills, so make sure that your cover letter and resume reflect your ability to communicate well. Triple check for spelling and grammatical errors. Do not simply rely on spell check – have a trusted colleague or teacher check for you too.
Cover letters can make all the difference in securing an interview, so I hope these tips will help you stand out.
To your success-