Building a perfect cover letter

I think it’s safe to say that nearly every company asks for a cover letter when you apply for a job, and even if the company doesn’t require it – you should still send one.

Why?

Because a cover letter is an important tool when applying for jobs – it gives you the chance to stand out from the competition by allowing the hiring manager to see your personality, which is something that your resume isn’t really able to show.

But, a poorly written cover letter can be just as bad, if not worse, than not sending one at all.

Source: Forbes

Source: Forbes

So, here are some tips from Forbes on how to write an outstanding cover letter.

  • In the first sentence, it’s always best to say you became aware of the opening from someone working for the company because this might influence the hiring manager to give you a chance – especially if this person is well liked and respected.
  • Don’t be afraid to tell a story about the moment you knew you wanted to be a journalist or the experience that made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in public relations. This will be more interesting to read than a cover letter that just explains professional background. Plus, it’s important to make yourself standout as much as possible.
  • Try to explain your experience in two sentences. Employers won’t be willing to read a cover letter if it doesn’t get straight to the point.
  • It’s great to say you have three years of experience in the field, but you should remember to back that up with examples and use them to explain how you can contribute to the company.
  • Try concluding with new ideas that you can bring to the company and say “I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon,” instead of telling the hiring manager when you will call.
  • Be aware of what your cover letter shouldn’t have, too: spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, lack of contact information, different letterheads used on resumes and cover letters.

But, and perhaps most important, try to show your personality in your cover letter because your cover letter is your chance to tell your story and explain how your story fits with the needs of the company.

Heidi Guenther
Vice President of Communications
EMU PRSSA
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