Regardless of where you apply for an internship or job you’ll be expected to provide a cover letter alongside your resume (unless otherwise stated). The purpose of this is to form a direct relationship between you and the company you’re applying to and to ex-plain why you are best suited for their specific vacancy. A well-written cover letter can make the difference between an interview and a rejection; luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of our top tips to help you write a great cover letter.
Write a different cover letter for each company and job you apply for. This is your opportunity to show off the skills you have specific to the job description as well as your personal interest in the company. In your cover letter you need to show an under-standing of what the employer is looking for in a candidate and then present yourself as that candidate. Short is Sweet.
Keep it concise.
Your cover letter should summarise and expand on specific areas of your resume not just repeat it so don’t write more than one typed side of A4.
Do your Research
Finding out a bit more about the company you’re applying to will help you better tailor your cover letter for the role. This can be a simple read-through of the website (the ‘About Us’ page is a good place to start), articles and other available online information, or a direct phone conversation with the company.
Address it correctly
Address your cover letter to ‘Mr ...’ or ‘Ms ...’ as appropriate, do not use first names and do not open with ‘To whom it may concern’. Seeking out the name of the person who will read your application, if not given, will show your interest and professionalism—this information can be easily found by phoning up the company.
Create a Professional Image
Put your full name and contact details at the head of your cover letter. This should include your email address and phone number but your postal address is not necessary. Make sure to use an appropriate and professional email address and preferably one that includes your full name i.e. [email protected] Under your name and details, you should include the name of the person you’re addressing, their job title or company name and their contact details. Other things that will help you create a professional image are: spellchecking and proofreading your letter for any typos or errors, not overusing ‘I’ and stock phrases and not mentioning other roles you’re applying for.
Don’t Forget the Obvious
Open your cover letter by stating the job your applying for, this can be a separate line to the main body of your letter or in the opening paragraph.
Structure it Effectively
Your cover letter should consist of an introduction, two or three paragraphs and a conclusion. In your introduction set out the key information about what role you’re applying for and some information about yourself. The first two paragraphs should cover your relevant skills and how these make you right for the job and the third should cover your interest in the company. Your conclusion should reaffirm your suitability and enthusiasm at the prospect of the job and invite the employer to read your resume and contact you about an interview.
By Bryony Streets
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