When you think about writing cover letters, what emotions come to mind? Joy? Excitement?
I’m going to hazard a guess and say those probably aren’t the feelings you experience when you face that blank computer screen. The essential job-searching task is more likely to make you feel dread than anything else.
Unfortunately, although it can feel like a daunting exercise, it’s typically a necessary step that’s intended to sell your skills, showcase your work history, and demonstrate a passion for the company. And when you really covet the job, it’s easy to become paralyzed about every little detail, such as: What do I write? How do I write it? Address it? Include x or leave it out? What about y?
These are legitimate concerns; after all, you’re hoping your letter gets you invited in for an interview. Look at this as an opportunity to show some personality and point out your achievements—beyond your resume or LinkedIn profile.
Lucky for you, we have a ton of great, informative material to help you get going:
These two documents need to complement each other in order for you to present a cohesive version of yourself. While your resume outlines what you can do in general, your cover letter explains what you can do for the company.
And if you’re feeling out of practice, here’s where to start.
Worried about your very average writing skills not catching anyone’s eye? Here’s a method to help you get over that hurdle.
Try this format discovered by someone who wrote 103 before finding a seemingly foolproof formula that gets results.
Take it from a pro: This is how to stand out from the crowd in the best way possible.
Struggling over your first sentence? This will help you craft the perfect one.
By now, you’ve heard how formal cover letters are a thing of the past, and writing close to how you speak in conversation is the way to go. If you’re not quite sure how to translate your voice to paper, here’s how.
You want to show your passion, but not scare off the reader with an abundance of enthusiasm. This is how to strike the right balance.
Fine-tune your document with this advice before letting it leave your inbox.
Oh, and check to make sure it’s free and clear of these common errors.
If you’re wondering what to say in the email that accompanies your application, wonder no longer with advice from career coach, Jenny Foss.
Lastly, it’s time to be nitpicky with all the small details before you send off that perfected letter.
Photo of person checking her cover letter courtesy of Caiaimage/Rafal Rodzoch/Getty Images.
Nina understands the struggle of a major career change. After snagging her first job at fourteen, she continued down the path of employment by pursuing a motley assortment of vocations. Ask her about her time in the Army, or her stint as a Harvard research guinea pig. Say hi @ninadawdles or ninasemczuk.com.More from this Author