Everyone always tells you to have your resume edited and ready when applying for jobs, but what about a cover letter? Many job applications require them, and there seems to be a million different ways to write them. Websites provide so many different ways to write a cover letter that it gets confusing and a little overwhelming. I have narrowed the search down. Here are some general rules to follow when it comes to writing a cover letter:
- Start with your contact information. Don’t forget to list your telephone number and email address. You want to make sure you provide multiple ways for the employer to contact you.
- Then, add the employer’s contact information. If you don’t have all of their information that’s okay, just add the information you have.
- Don’t forget the date! Before your salutation, provide the date so the employer knows when you applied for the position.
- Next comes the salutation (i.e. “Dear”). It is best to use the employer's full name to directly address them. Always remember to address them professionally, including titles.
- In your first body paragraph you should introduce yourself. Provide the college you are attending or have attended, your major, and what position you are applying for. Make sure to be clear and concise.
- Your second paragraph should describe your skills and how they will benefit the company. You can also include how your skills and/or experience makes you a good candidate for the position.
- Your third paragraph should show enthusiasm for the position and state that you would like to discuss the position further.
- Don’t forget to thank the employer for considering you as a candidate.
- Provide a closing. “Sincerely” usually works best, but try some of these too! Provide your contact information again under your name. It may seem redundant to provide your contact information again, but this will better your chances of being contacted by the employer.
Here is an example of a cover letter that will help you better understand the format and wording.
A cover letter provides a chance for you to tell the employer about your skills rather than them just reading off of your resume. They allow the employer to see you on a more personal level.
NEVER forget to EDIT, EDIT, EDIT! Send your cover letter to a friend, career counselor or someone else you trust. Even a minor mistake can affect your candidacy for your desired position. Follow these simple rules and you will be well on your way to landing a job!