In Pursuit: Writing Cover Letters

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Cover letters can be difficult, and it’s hard to know where to start. But this is the time for you to display your personality and communication skills, as well demonstrate what skills you have that will benefit the company you want to work for.

Tailor every cover letter you write to the company you want to work for. Yes, this means having a ton of cover letters saved on your laptop, and editing every time you apply somewhere. But the extra effort is usually worth it. Plus, it’s always best to address someone in your letter, and a quick phone call can sometimes do the trick if you can’t find a person to address it to online.

Your cover letter doesn’t have to look boring. A splash of color, and minimal design can go a long way. Extra points if it matches your resume. Of course, this depends on what you’re applying for.

Use correct grammar, and check for any misspelled words. Writing skills are important, no matter what job you’re applying for. For god’s sake, use proper punctuation and grammar. Having someone else read it to catch mistakes isn’t a bad idea either.

Now is the time to show off what you can do. Especially if your resume doesn’t have a lot on it. Talk up everything you can – it’s hard when you’re first looking for internships, and don’t have much experience. So a cover letter is perfect for sparse resumes. Talk yourself up, but don’t outright brag. No one likes that.

Don’t be scared to show a little personality. You want to stand out, right? A cover letter is also a great time to do that. You don’t want to go overboard, but just remember that however you come across in your letter, you have to own it.

Don’t repeat what you have on your resume. Add things you didn’t have space for on your resume, don’t waste space by just repeating everything on your resume. You should be keeping it to one page, by the way.

Tell a story, but keep it to the point. Stand out by making your cover letter a little more colorful. Maybe the company you’re applying for had some impact on your life that you could talk about, or maybe talk about how you’ve imagined yourself working at this specific company for a long time. Just keep it short and sweet.

The best thing you can do, is be genuine and open. And have correct grammar. Always save your cover letters as PDFs, too. A great tool that has some cool templates for cover letters is Canva. If you’re looking for resume tips, check out my post here.

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