discover the purpose
Look at the purpose of a cover letter this way-you have written your resume to represent WHO YOU ARE and a hiring manager creates a job posting to display the NEEDS OF A COMPANY. A cover letter TIES THE TWO TOGETHER and affords you the opportunity to highlight how you can apply your past experience, skills and abilities to the position for which you’re applying.
TIPS TO EMBRACE
- Communicate why you want to work for that SPECIFIC company. Hiring managers don’t want to see a generic cover letter that can just be sent to every company within your field.
- Address your Cover Letter to a person. Don’t have a name? Use LinkedIn to conduct company research and find someone with the title “Hiring Manager.” They’ll notice the effort.
- Tell a story that’s not on your resume. What brings you to that company and how does it incorporate your passion and what you’d like to do with your life?
- Focus on the positive and what you can do to address the company’s needs. Make sure you avoid boastfulness, exaggeration, and inconsistency.
- Follow the format of a standard professional letter.
- Type the letter and keep it to 1 page.
- Use the same font and header as your resume.
- Proofread to avoid typos and look at your sentence openings to ensure they vary and don’t all start with the word “I.”
- If you’re emailing your documents, incorporate the job title in the email’s subject line.
start with research
You already have a resume, so now it’s time to learn more about the company and their needs in order to write your COVER LETTER.
RESEARCH THE COMPANY
- Explore a company’s mission statement and goals by checking out the company website.
- Make use of LinkedIn company pages to gain information on what is going on in that company and their latest achievements.
- Visit the conduct company research tab for more info on how to make the most of company research.
ANALYZE THE JOB DESCRIPTION
- Read the job description thoroughly and highlight the required qualifications and job responsibilities.
- Contemplate how your experiences, skills and coursework translate over to what the company needs.
- Avoid focusing on yourself. The company doesn’t want to know what you’ll gain from working for them. They want to know what you can do for them.
cover letter breakdown
Explore the COVER LETTER breakdown below to learn the guidelines for writing a cover letter and how they can be applied.
FORMAT HEADER & SAY HELLO
HEADER: Display your name, address, phone number and email address in the same format as your resume.
DATE: Include the date you print and mail (or email) the letter.
RECIPIENT'S NAME & ADDRESS: Left-aligned align this information and include an individual’s name if possible.
SALUTATION: Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. Last Name (if you’re unsure of the recipient’s gender or you want to be gender neutral, write their full name).
INTRODUCE YOURSELF & WHAT YOU WANT
Immediately state the position for which you are applying and how you heard about it. If you are not applying for a specific position, indicate your area of interest.
Mention if you were referred by someone (like an alumni or other contact).
Introduce yourself by stating your major and anticipated graduation date.
Mention why you find the company/organization compelling and why you want to work for them.
DESCRIBE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS & WHAT YOU WOULD BRING
Point out the relevant skills you have developed through your coursework and experiences in order to show the hiring manager that you are a good fit for the position.
Expand on the experiences that support you are a “match” for the position. Use keywords from the job description if possible.
Describe how you would apply the skills and knowledge you gained from your experiences to the position for which you are applying.
WRAP IT UP & SAY THANKS
Thank the employer for their time and consideration.
Offer to provide any additional information.
Provide your email and phone number in the last sentence.
End your letter with:
Your signature (leave 3 -4 spaces)
Your Typed Name
Check out the CCO Handbook for more cover letter tips
2800 Sunset Lane Apt. 123 email@example.com
Lafayette, IN 47905 756-432-5689
March 15, 2013
Bain & Company, Inc.
190 South LaSalle, Suite 3400
Chicago, IL 60603
Dear Ms. Leader:
I am writing to express my interest in the Bain Building Entrepreneurial Leaders Program (BEL). Frank Friendly, my Academic Advisor at Purdue University, informed me of the fall program. In my professional and academic career, I have learned invaluable critical thinking skills, accomplished collaborative initiatives and developed a dedication to innovative solutions. These skills make me an excellent candidate to work within the BEL program. Your company shares my passion for practicality, and I value the firm’s commitment to results garnered with integrity.
Furthermore, I earned the well-respected and selective position of a Purdue University Resident Assistant (RA). This challenging job has advanced my leadership skills tremendously. As an RA, I demonstrate an ability to analyze varying issues and generate concise and consistent solutions. For example, I have handled numerous extreme conflicts between roommates from different cultural backgrounds. The roommates’ conflicts are always resolved in a respectful manner, and they reach an applicable agreement due to my effective mediation. In this regard, I am prepared to handle conflicts with the business issues of a real client and address dissenting opinions within a work team.
Additionally, my role as an RA is not restricted by the job description. I conduct research to understand what residents need in order to be successful. This work mentally prepares me to incorporate various perspectives to discover the best solutions during the interactive training sessions of the program. An exceptional RA incorporates servant leadership as a characteristic of the residential community. I continuously do this by living the life of a model student and guiding residents to accomplish their personal goals. Specifically, I have worked with a resident who felt conflicted about changing majors. I engaged in discussion with him for many hours until he was comfortable with his decision. This and similar experiences make me confident that I can honestly share the passions of this program’s clients.
Finally, my academic rigor of my Communication (Human Relations), African American Studies, and Philosophy majors contribute to my ability to think critically from varying perspectives. I am grateful for consideration into the Bain BEL Program. Thank you for reviewing my application, and note that I can be reached at your convenience by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or telephone (756-432-5689).