Aren’t cover letters a thing of the past? Shouldn’t we be able to do away with them now that most job applications are online? The answer is no to both questions, and these here are the reasons why.
Your resume should cover the basics of your jobs and education, but it doesn’t really convey who you are as a person—what you are enthusiastic about, why you want a particular job, why you are the perfect candidate for the job. That’s where the cover letter comes in. This is your chance to form a personal connection, demonstrate professionalism, and show that you have researched the company.
Here are some cover letter tips to get you started:
- Use LinkedIn and the company website to learn the name of the hiring manager and address the letter to that person. If you can’t find a name, address your cover letter to "Dear Hiring Manager".
- If someone referred you or you have a personal connection at the company, mention them by name. Networking is always important, and this is where you can benefit.
- Match keywords from the job description—show how you are the perfect person to fill this job and you understand the responsibilities of the job.
- Why do you want this job? Demonstrate that you have researched the company and how you will be a good fit within the company's culture.
- Calibri, Verdana, and Arial are the best fonts to use. A simple format looks better when submitted electronically.
- A good cover letter should be fairly short—about 250 words and 3-4 paragraphs in length.
- Remember that a cover letter is a business letter. Convey your enthusiasm while remaining professional.
- Use an online example if you need additional ideas.
- Don’t forget to proofread! Have someone else look over your cover letter. Email a copy to yourself to make sure the formatting remains consistent. Read it out loud to someone. Don’t send it until you are sure it is free of mistakes.
Writing a cover letter may seem like an impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be! For more tips and information, visit the Workplace in person at Parkway Central Library and subscribe to our monthly email newsletter!