The cover letter is the first thing that a hiring manager reads when their HR team tells them they found a candidate for hire. Its the beginning of the interview, so don’t blow it before you get there by not doing your homework.
Before You Start Writing:
- Read up on the companies you are interested in.
- Check their website for descriptions of the company vision, culture and perspective.
- Read through their LinkedIn pages.
- Google them for recent news clips and goings on.
- Talk to people who already work there and find out what the work culture is like.
- Take personal inventory
- How do you work best?
- What are your core values?
- What would they have to offer you for you to accept on the spot?
- What are your deal breakers and “non-negotiables”?
- What do you want to learn from this potential work experience?
Dat Gum Start Writing
- Use descriptors from your personal inventory to connect to the company vision, mission and values
- Drop in a line about what they are doing currently that is exciting to you*
*If you can’t find something in your personal inventory that resonates with the company culture and vision/mission, it’s probably not a fit. MOVE ON
Tell em Something They Don’t Know
- Don’t – use your cover letter to repeat everything you bulletted in your resume. BORING.
- Do – provide some information that didn’t fit on your resume but shows a bit of your personality or passion for what they do. Be creative here and show them something they won’t get from anyone else. I once got an interview because I listed watching SpongeBob as one of my favorite pastimes. BEING DIFFERENT IS GOOD.
Introduce yourself properly on paper and they’ll be calling to find out if you are the peanut butter to their jelly.
What kind of feedback did you get on your last cover letter? Did they love it? Did you surprise the interviewer with anything? Leave a comment below about ways you set yourself apart when being introduced on paper.