Ah, such a nice day here in the city. I’m sitting in my “office” (a local cafe with free wi-fi, a beautiful garden, and great coffee), and just finished a client’s cover letter. I have to say, I have gotten to know this client very well and have been impressed with her skills from the get-go. She is a fascinating woman and I’m excited to see her succeed.
There are many ways to write a cover letter. For me, the cover letter is the best part of any package you send out into the world: it’s your opportunity to show hiring managers why you are the perfect candidate for their position. It’s also a place where you can let your personality really shine.
I like to address several things in a cover letter: first, an introduction about yourself – what sets you apart in your field in terms of your style, your skills and experience. In addition, it’s important to speak directly about the position you are applying for and why you want to work for this particular company.
Here’s a general outline to get you started when you write your cover letter. I use this outline for most of my clients’ cover letters and it seems to do the trick!
Part 1: How’d You Get Here?
In your first paragraph, let them know how you found out about the company and/or the position you are applying for. Tell them you believe you are a perfect fit for the position.
Part 2: Who Are You?
In the second paragraph, talk a bit about your experience as it directly relates to the position you are applying for. This is important – if you are applying for an accounting job, don’t go on and on about your last job in customer service. Keep it relevant.
Part 3: Your experience + their job = a perfect match!
Print out the job description and highlight the duties you have done in the past, and any preferred or required qualifications you meet. Then write about each one, methodically tying your experience and skills in with what they need.
Part 4: Close the Deal.
Lastly, tell them why you want to work for them and make them believe they are the only job you are applying for. This may not be the case, and you don’t have to lie, but make them feel as if they are the only company in the world. Nobody likes to read something that seems insincere or canned (which is why I never, ever use templates!).
Why do you want to work there? Think about their values, their work environment, and quickly reiterate how your skills and experience make you the perfect fit for the position. Tell them you would love to set up a time to speak with them about this exciting opportunity.
More tips in a bit! In the meantime, good luck, and as always feel free to contact me if you need any help!