Writing a cover letter
Cover letters are time-consuming and often unnecessary unless specifically required by the job application, or if you are applying to mid-level or higher corporate position. In order to maximize your efficiency applying for jobs, you should only write a cover letter if the position requires it. When you have to write a cover letter, it’s important to follow a consistent format with a dependable structure. Following these tips will ensure you write effective cover letters that get consistent responses from employers:
1. Use a three-paragraph format
- The first paragraph is the introduction. In this paragraph, you let the employer what position you are applying for and how you heard of it. You summarize the expectations of the position, and state that due to your past experience, you would be an ideal candidate for the position.
- In the second paragraph, go into more detail about how your experience makes you a good candidate for the position. Start this paragraph by listing a few of the requirements of the position, and then describe in a few sentences how your past experience matches these requirements.
- In the third paragraph, write a sentence or two about why you admire the company and would like to work with them. This is your closing. Don’t forget to state that you look forward to hearing from them for an interview.
There are many different ways to write a cover letter, but this format is the most straightforward, and will ensure consistent results
2. Use the language of the job description in your letter, and tie this description to your past experience
Using the parts of the job description shows that you have read it thoroughly, have good attention to detail, and understand the requirements. It also shows that you are not simply sending them a generic cover letter that could go to anybody.
For example: “Anne Arundel Summer camp requires a candidate who is a good mentor with children and gets them motivated to participate in multiple activities. During my position as Assistant Counselor at Anne Arundel Baseball Camp, I successfully organized several practice activities and inspired the kids in my group to steadily improve their skills.”
3. Check spelling and grammar, and write in complete sentences
Spelling and grammar errors in a cover letter are the quickest way to disqualify your job application. If you are unsure of your spelling or grammar, have someone review your cover letter.
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