Some employers ask for it while others don’t even mention it, but the cover letter can help you land the interview and the hopefully the job. Many fear the cover letter finding it intimidating. Bulleting your experience on a resume is easy.
But, crafting a great cover letter can seem much more daunting. Follow these instructions to create a cover letter template to use over and over.
Research. Research. Research.
Before you even begin to craft your document, you need to look into the job and the company. Start with their website, but don’t stop there. Look into social media feeds, press releases, company announcements, and any mentions of the company in the news.
Once you’ve looked into the organization, find some commonalities that link you with the company. Are they someone you’ve followed for a long time? Do their goals align with yours? Is there a specific thing they’ve done that you really admired? Once you’ve isolated a connection, you can use this as an inspiration for your entire cover letter.
Three paragraphs is a perfect length for a cover letter. Three paragraphs that take up the space between your heading and signature line. Seems simple, but crafting these paragraphs takes serious thought.
You want to start your introduction explaining who you are right now. Still in school? Mention what year and major you are. Currently hold a different position you want to leave? Tell them what you do and why you’re looking to make a move.
These may be listed on your resume, but stating them again will make who you are more memorable for employers.
Make sure to mention the position you’re applying for. Employers get multiple applications for different positions so stating what your application is for can be helpful to them.
In the same paragraph you need to establish that connection you found previously. Saying things like “Your dedication to xx is really admirable and I want to help with the work that you do” or “I enjoyed your coverage of the xx story” can show knowledge and enthusiasm for the company.
Establishing a link between you and the employer shows the employer that you are serious about the job and that you’ve taken the time to learn about them.
Explain your past positions, experiences, and skill set. But, be careful because the second paragraph should not be a reiteration of what is on your resume.
Make sure to pinpoint the skills the job description calls for. Your cover letter should go into more detail and you should mention specific experiences that relate to the skills the recruiter is looking for.
Leadership skills? Highlight the event that you organized. Communication skills? Talk about your management style and what types of teams you’ve worked on before.
Go in depth and make your tone conversational rather than formal as you showcase your talents.
The final paragraph is the easiest! Thank the employer for taking the time to look at your application and let them know how they can contact you further. You can add more or less to the section, but make sure that you have these two points. Once you’ve finished this paragraph, add a salutation, sign the document, and attach it in front of your resume.
Applying via email? Make it easier for the recruiter and combine your cover letter and resume into one PDF.
Follow this template to craft a consistent and organized cover letter to compliment any type of resume.