6 steps to writing a killer cover letter

Cover letters can be a pain to write, but putting in that extra effort will pay off in the long run. Unless explicitly asked not to send a cover letter, it’s important to send something over. It’s one more opportunity to impress a potential employer and convince them that you’re the person they want for the job. Though it does require time and effort, writing a cover letter doesn’t have to be a painful experience. Take a deep breath and follow these simple steps on how to write a good cover letter and you’ll be even closer to that dream job.

 

1. Do some investigation

You should have already looked into the company you’re applying to, but if you haven’t, this is definitely the time to do so. Look at the company website. Go on LinkedIn and Twitter to see if the CEO or top management have profiles. You may even want to contact someone who works or has worked with the firm. The more you understand what they do and what kind of position they’re trying to fill, the better.

 

2. Write a strong opening

Start your letter with a powerful statement about your experience combined with your desire to work for the company. For example: “After working as a client manager for PR companies in 4 different cities worldwide, I would love to bring my 10 years of international marketing experience and deep passion for the industry to your firm”. Also, be sure to mention if you have a personal connection to someone already working at the firm early on. Whatever you do, don’t try to be funny. This is about getting a job, not a laugh.

 

how to write a good cover letter

 

3. Make it clear what you’ll bring to the company

Think about how the firm may be struggling or looking to grow – whatever their needs may be. Use your investigation skills to try and figure out exactly what kind of value you add to the firm. If the firm may be thinking about widening their scope internationally, it would be great to emphasize experience abroad, for example. Be specific about how your experience will help solve the company’s problems and make the firm stronger overall.

 

4. Infuse your letter with authenticity and passion

Expressing enthusiasm for the position is another vital element to a strong letter. If you can convey your desires in an authentic way that speaks to the hiring manager, it will make your application stand out from the rest. When you’re on the job search, it’s far better to submit a smaller amount of passionate and thoughtful applications than a ton of applications that lack enthusiasm. Just make sure to keep the language professional – not gushy.

 

how to write a good cover letter

 

5. Don’t go on and on

Cover letters should be a page long or even less. Hiring managers are looking through lots of applications, so it’s important to use each sentence to make a powerful statement about what makes you the best applicant for the job. You may want to start with more than one page and then edit and condense your writing to make the letter as potent and convincing as possible.

 

6. Edit

Don’t be sloppy and send in an application that has spelling or grammar mistakes. It reflects poor work ethic. Proofread your final version multiple times to make sure it’s picture perfect. If you have a friend or family member who can also give the finished letter a scan, even better.

 

 

Now that you know how to write a good cover letter, apply now to boost your career!

 

Sources: https://hbr.org/2014/02/how-to-write-a-cover-letter

Photos

1. based on 動靜之間 世界在改變, by Adikos, CC-by-2.0

2. based on Day 148: The end of the line, by Bruce Guenter, CC-by-2.0

3. based on Memory, by Alexander Boden, CC-by-SA 2.0

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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.

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