“Do I really have to write a cover letter?”
If it’s an option, we recommend it! A well-written cover letter:
- Highlights your written communication skills;
- Expands on specific experiences from your resume you want the hiring manager to know more about;
- Shows you’ve done your homework on the company/organization;
- Allows you to name drop someone who referred you to apply to the position.
A cover letter is like an advertisement. Sell your experience!
Catch the reader’s attention. What position are you applying to? What interested you about the position/company? Have you spoken with someone in the company/organization about applying?
- Take the time to customize your cover letter to fit the job description.
- Make it clear you’ve done your homework on the company and position to stand out in the hiring pool.
Communicate your skills and experience with concrete examples.
- Your cover letter should not just restate what’s already on your resume.
- Instead, it should provide additional detail and context for your experience.
- This section can be anywhere between 1-3 paragraphs depending on the amount of experience you have, but your letter should fit onto one page.
- Consider breaking these paragraphs into themes related to types of experience (e.g., academic and work), or skill sets (e.g., customer service, leadership).
Compel the reader to act and thank them for their time.
- Reiterate your contact information so it’s extra easy to contact you for an interview.
- You can also restate your interest in the position and their company.
- Use the same header as your resume with your name and contact information.
- Keep your cover letter to 1 page in length.
- Use block paragraph formatting to follow the business letter style.
Check out these tips for additional information on writing a successful cover letter.