Published on Feb. 13, 2018
Updated on Sep. 17, 2018
It’s that time of year again! Time to shower that special someone with attention and love. That special someone? Well, your potential future employer of course! With summer and graduation just a few months away, now is the perfect time to start showing some love to those potential employers with a cover letter they won’t be able to resist. So whether you’re applying for an internship or a full-time position, here are some tips for writing cover letters employers will adore:
1. Get the basics right! Should be easy and straight-forward, right? Well if it were this probably wouldn’t be the #1 tip! Always double, triple, and quadruple check to make sure the formatting, addressee, job title and/or team name (as they appear on the job listing) are accurate. These majorly basic errors show that you didn’t give your cover letter the love and attention it so deserves, making the employer feel just as unloved. Think of it like a first date. If you go into it forgetting the person’s name or didn’t take the time to learn a little bit about them beforehand, it’s probably not going to go anywhere. Make sure you have multiple pairs of eyes look over it – your friends, family members, a Career Specialist at the MU Career Center, a professor, etc. – and make revisions accordingly.
2. Show, don’t tell. “I’m a hardworking, organized student that would be the perfect fit for your company!” The person reading your cover letter has probably lost track of the number of times they have read that exact sentence. Instead of telling the employer how great you are, convince them that you’re the perfect match by describing an experience from a previous job/position that illustrates the skills/strengths that you’re wanting to convey. Specific examples tend to hold more meaning than generically written sentences such as the one above. Keep in mind, however, that you still need to be concise!
3. Do your research. Your knowledge of the company isn’t something that is showcased only through the interview process. Get a head start by integrating this knowledge into your cover letter. Familiarize yourself with their goals, mission/vision statement, and company culture via their website. Watch interviews with the company’s CEO. Read up their accomplishments and recent developments. Taking the time to get to know the inner-workings of the place you hope to work for goes a long way. And being able to express your passion about the trajectory of the company is sure to put a smile on the employer’s face.
4. Learn the lingo. Wondering which of your skills and strengths to focus on? Most job listings include a job description and list of required skills, so look no further! Re-read the job listing, absorb the language that they use, and then transfer it over to your cover letter. A demonstrated understanding of what exactly the job entails as well as how your skills fit the requirements of the job will have employers seeing sparks. That being said (or written?), you should never send out the same cover letter twice! Make sure each one is personalized with the lingo of that specific job.
5. Give a CTA. When closing your cover letter you’ll want to sum up your interest in working for the company and reiterate the skills and strengths that you can bring to the position. But it doesn’t end there. Make sure you include a “call to action” such as “I would love to talk to you more in depth about my qualifications. You can reach me at (123) 456-7890.” This puts the ball in their court and shows them that you mean business.
Overall, cover letters are something you want to give a lot of attention to this season. Let these 5 laws of attraction help you make that connection!