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Writing the Perfect Cover Letter

Cover Letters: something

NO ONE teaches you how to write.

They’re not always required, and only 1 in 4 hiring managers will read your letter, but you never know if your hiring manager will be that one.  There is no one way to construct the perfect cover letter, but we’re here to give you some guidelines:

Contact Information To start it off, include both your employer’s and your contact information in the left hand corner. 

Introduction Find out to whom you’re writing. “Sir”, “madame”, or “to whom it may concern” are not appealing to hiring managers. Do your research; look through the company’s website or LinkedIn for the hiring manager’s name. Even if it is wrong, they can see an effort was made. Introduce yourself in your first paragraph. Begin the first paragraph by telling the employer the position you are applying for and how you learned about the position. The rest should present basic information about yourself including things like your degree, area of study, your career goals and how they align with the goals of the company.

Sell Yourself Your next paragraph should respond directly to the job description. Describe how your previous job experiences, skills, and abilities will allow you to meet the company’s needs. In the third paragraph, explain how you can fit into the company’s mission and help them move forward and achieve their goals they may have.

Conclusion The last paragraph is your “call to action”. Inform them that you would love to have to opportunity to get an interview. Tell them you’ll be in contact within a week if you do not hear back. Thank them for taking the time to read the letter and that you are looking forward to connecting with them soon.

Formatting Your Cover Letter is Half the BattleThe appearance of the cover letter is like a first impression. It sets a tone for the hiring manager.

Keep it to around a half page. 44% of hiring managers prefer a half page, and 24% say “the shorter the better”.

Using 1” -- 1.5” margins are the way to go. Be careful your content does not looked crammed; your letter shouldn’t exceed a page so the margins can give you some wiggle room.

Don’t go below a 12 point font. You do not to strain your hiring manager’s eyes.

Use a font style that is easy to read. Make sure it looks professional too.

Extra Tips:

Don’t Regurgitate Your Resume They already have your resume, so they don’t need all of the information again in a different format. Use the cover letter to expand on the bullet points from your resume. Tell the story of why you are perfect for the position.

Showcase The Right Experiences Review the text from the job description, and match each of your own skills to each point. If it is in the posting, that is what the hiring manager is looking for the most.

Don’t Be Too Formal Don’t be overly formal in your language. It makes you come off as insincere and even a little robotic. You want to come off friendly and approachable. Don’t be too casual, but be yourself.

Customize! No one wants to read a stock cover letter. Customize it to the company. If your first few lines are generic, that will all the hiring manager will read and toss it aside.

Give Yourself a Confidence Boost Before You Write Pump yourself up. Listen to your power song. Dance around. Watch or read something that makes you happy. Then write.

Don’t Be Afraid to Brag Imagine you’re someone else writing a letter about yourself--someone who would sing your praises. Write from their point of view. Just remember to go back and change it from first person when you’re done.

Have Someone Proofread It Ask them two questions: “Does this sell me as the best person for the job?” and “Does it get you excited?”. If the answer is no, you need to go back and rewrite

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