A cover letter is a prequel to your resume. It gives the interviewer a friendly introduction to who you are, why you want the job and your credibility. Not all interviewers expect a resume, however, I feel it is a necessary personal touch to show your professionalism and desire for the position since it took additional time. I always like to take advantage of any opportunity to put my best foot forward and you shouldn’t either. Here are some basic steps to writing a cover letter.
1 | Format
Format is crucial. Follow the format as follows:
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:
Body of your text.
Signature (make sure to print a hard copy and sign in black or blue ink)
First Name Last Name
2 | Make It Personal
While tedious AF you need to make each cover letter for each respective job prospect unique and original. It is important to maintain authenticity in each one while also including personal touches through researching the interviewer and the company you are interested in. I always like to read the “About Us” section of the company prior to submitting an application so I can get a taste of the culture. This will also affect the tone of your cover letter as you want to be causal with a more laid back company and formal with a more traditional company. Make sure while “casual” you are still buttoned up and professional nonetheless. This isn’t the time to use your best lady curse words and millennial-isms. I know I know, you’re fleek AF babe!
3 | Shine Bright Like a Diamond
Your resume is a long list of all your badassery but what is your most badass asset you are bringing to the table? Flaunt that shit on your cover letter! This is your opportunity to put yourself on a pedestal so they know right away your best assets and positive contributions you can make to the company. Are you a baller at Photoshop? Tell them about a project you worked on and the results. Thrown a soiree of the century? Tell them about your project management skills and organizational tactics that worked for your event. Just make sure you don’t confuse your confidence with cockiness, it shows on paper and in an interview. Remain poised and professional through and through.
4 | When in Doubt, GOOGLE IT
If you’re feeling like you’re stuck in a cover letter rut, I always recommend googling other cover letters to get you #inspired. While I can give you all the tips in the world, I can’t provide inspo-juice by the bottle but I know Google can.
5 | Check Yo’self Before You Wreck Yo’self
I cannot stress enough how important it is to edit your cover letter. How unprofessional is it to have spelling and grammatical errors on your cover letter or resume? You need to make sure you check it twice AND ask a friend to do a once over for you (make sure your friend is at least moderately literate though LOL). While spell check and I have been #BFFs since forever, it doesn’t always catch everything (i.e.: too, to or their, there, and they’re). First impressions are everything so don’t blow it on a spelling error.
Here is a SAMPLE cover letter to help you out! (you can find templates like these on CANVA.com)