There are three steps to take when preparing to write a cover letter:
- Review the company's website to get an idea of their product and services, mission, and culture
- Do some research on the company using resources like Glassdoor.com, LinkedIn, and Google News alerts
- Reflect on why you want to work for that company
- Carefully review the job description
- Outline your qualifications relative to the position and identify the reasons why you are a good match for the position
- Begin to outline examples of your key qualifications for the position
- Remember that past performance is what recruiters and hiring managers use to gauge future success
Below are some example of position qualifications and effective descriptions:
- Research The market research I conducted for my internship helped the team launch a competitive product on time.
- Communication As co-chair of my company's community outreach committee for two years, I planned and led committee meetings, and crafted the monthly company email newsletter.
- Work Independently I independently learned a new software program in my previous position and used the software to efficiently and effectively answer customer questions and address their concerns.
3. Organize Your Content and Start Writing!
- Salutation - Address your letter to a specific person, explaining why you are writing and where you found the posting. Include a phrase about why you are interested in the company.
- Body/Content – Follow the three D’s:
- Describe your strongest relevant qualifications using key words and your outline.
- Demonstrate these qualifications with concrete examples, taking care to not just restate what is in your resumé.
- Define your interest in the company and refer to their products or strategy to show you have done your research.
- Keep it short and simple: Reiterate your enthusiasm, provide your contact information, and thank the employer. If you are changing careers, be sure your cover letter highlights your transferable, relevant skills AND helps describe – in a positive manner – why you are pursuing this career change.