August 11, 2010

3 Tips on Writing a Cover Letter

How long will you spend reading this blog post? Probably not very long.
So, how long do you think someone will spend reading each resume in a huge pile of applicants? Probably even less.

How do you get past the trash pile and even get your resume read in the first place? In most instances, a good cover letter is the key.

Don't Be Everyone Else
The purpose of a cover letter is partly to convince them to read your resume and partly to get an interview (this is in conjunction with that resume you're trying to get them to read). So you should sound like yourself and be yourself because the person you portray in your cover letter is precisely who they will be expecting to interview. This means you don't have to necessarily follow the form letters you find online or even write what your career advisor tells you to write. You should follow some general rules and guidance, like being positive and explaining why you want to work at that company, but you should be yourself, not what you think everyone else is expecting you to be.

Grab Their Attention
Remember those hooks you were taught to write in 8th grade English? Now is the time to tap into those skills and use it. The person looking to hire is going to read an awful lot of cover letters, you need to give them a reason to want to read yours. So don't start it with "I am Jen and I am a music major at Awesome University..." Do you even care to read that?

Make It Professional
Be sure to look up some info on how to write a formal letter and follow the format. Use proper English and be sure to proof read and spell check. Change the letter to fit each company and explain why you want to work there.
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