You probably clicked on this article hoping we would say that cover letters are no longer relevant to the modern job search. Unfortunately, that just isn’t true. And if you believe they are unimportant and don’t put any effort into crafting a thoughtful cover letter, you miss out on a huge opportunity. A cover letter is a platform to sell yourself. It’s a chance to explain your qualifications, share your passion for the job to which you are applying, and show a bit of your personality. So, even though cover letters aren’t dead, they don’t have to make you miserable! Here’s how to write a cover letter with as little pain as possible.
Create An Outline
Yes, you need to customize your cover letter to every single job. However, if you have a great outline to start with, customizing it is a breeze! Here’s a good start:
1. Introduction Paragraph
Use the introduction to do just that, introduce yourself! Launch into your elevator pitch with a strong hook. It’s the perfect opportunity to explain why you are applying for this particular job with this exact company.
2. Body Paragraphs
In one or two body paragraphs, describe your skills in experiences in detail and how they relate to this position. We recommend pulling a couple of requirements from the job description that are in your wheelhouse and expanding on your experience with them. Only discuss your most relevant positions and skills in your cover letter.
3. Closing Paragraph
Your closing paragraph is the perfect place to tie everything together and wrap it up neatly. Reiterate your passion for your career, qualifications, and why you want to work for this company. You can also use this spot to address any possible concerns. If you are relocating, want to explain a gap in employment, or re-emphasize any specific qualifications, do it towards the end. However, always be sure to end on a strong, positive note!
Take the job description and print it out. Then, highlight the requirements that you have and can explain in-depth throughout your cover letter. This will help to give you direction as you start to fill your outline with content.
Run A Grammar Check
Even if you’re writing in a program like Microsoft Word with a spell check built-in, you need to call in reinforcements. We love to use Grammarly to check the grammar and flow of a document. You can also recruit a friend or family member to read over your cover letter and look for any possible slip-ups!
There is no denying that cover letters are a lot of work. However, if that is what makes the difference between landing a job or not, how could you skip it?! Even if the job application says cover letters are optional, we recommend whipping one up to set yourself apart.
Now that you’re an expert on cover letters, let’s refresh that resume!