Cover letters are often one of the great pain points when looking for a new job. Whether you’re a strong writer or not, constructing a letter to a future employer can bring on an abundance of doubt. In order to help you combat your cover letter anxiety, we have put together some quick tips to help you nail your next job application.
Start with a formula
If writing a letter seems like a large task, break it down into a formula to build out all the parts. This helps break the writing down into smaller pieces and keeps each paragraph on track. Here is one way you can format your cover letter:
Intro + Career Highlight + Connection to Job Posting + “Ask” and Closing
Bring a strong introduction
Start your cover letter with a clear and concise intro. Be sure to introduce why you are writing and who you are. Think of the intro as the place to put the most essential information: who you are! As much as we all hope a hiring manager will hang on to our every word, they may only read the intro so be sure to make it count. Include your name, what role you are interested in, and why you are interested (as it relates to your skills!).
Highlight your past success
After you have written a brief introduction, spend a couple of sentences highlighting your career so far. The more details you can include, the better. Use this section as a place to brag about yourself! You want to make sure that you are including details that are relevant to the position you are applying to. This is also a section where you can address gaps or odd jobs on your resume.
REMINDER: Be specific! Include data points and relevant statistics regarding your career success when possible.
Relate to the original job posting
After summarizing your career highlights, you want to dive into why the company should choose you for a particular role. Be sure to address how the items you mentioned in your previous paragraph will help you be successful in the new role. You can take elements of the job description and speak to how you will effectively execute them.
Have a clear “ask” in the closing
As you come near the end of your cover letter, you want to include an “ask.” This can be as simple as “I’d love the opportunity to discuss my experience further,” or more specific like, “I’d value the opportunity to demonstrate how my experience in XYZ can help your company reach X goal this year.” It’s important to tie your letter together and express your interest in the job opportunity again.
While cover letters sometimes seem like a great mystery, they really are an opportunity to allow your personality to come through and address additional details that may not be obvious on your resume.