Cover Letter Tips & Template
Cover letters are terrifying because you’re giving one document the power to determine your future and in that document, you have to tell your whole life story. No pressure.
Honestly though, it’s okay. You’ve got this. Below are some tips that you should consider when writing your cover letters.
I have also included a cover letter template that you can use when writing or re-writing your cover letter. This is the same template I have used for the past few years and I’ve found it to be extremely successful.
An important thing to remember is that the employer will see this as an example of your writing skills. If you’re applying to any kind of writing field, this could not be MORE important.
Just like your resume, if you’re sending in your cover letter electronically, send it as a PDF.
Just like JFK said (verbatim), “Think about what you can do for the company, not what the company can do for you.”
Don’t EVER talk about the skills you don’t have. If you see a requirement on their job description that you don’t have, DON’T TELL THEM!
Cut the fluff and don’t blabber on.
You can start with a cover letter template that you can use for multiple jobs, but customize each one to the position you’re applying for. It should never seem like you’re using the same cover letter over and over again.
Try to include keywords from the job description. This will show that you have researched and catered your letter to them. And plus, you’ll look like the perfect candidate.
Dear Mr./Ms. ________________________________ (or “To Whom It May Concern” if you don’t know the name):
State the reason for writing. Name the specific position or type of work for which you're applying. (This first paragraph should only be a few sentences long).
Explain why you're interested in working for this employer and specify how you're PERFECT for this specific position at this specific company. The more specific you can be the better. It shows that you have done the research.
Don't repeat the information on your resume, there’s a reason why you have two separate documents. Use this to tell them everything your resume couldn’t. Here’s an ideal place to talk about not only the projects you’ve been a part of, but more importantly, the impact you have had with your work.
Mention that your resume is enclosed and indicate your desire to meet with the employer to talk more about the skills you mentioned above. Include a statement or question that will encourage the reader to respond. Most importantly, thank the employer for their time. This is huge--show them the respect that you wish to receive.