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Build Your Brand: Cover Letter

Brand

Cover Letter

Read Time: 30 Minutes
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A cover letter demonstrates your knowledge of the position and company, shows your enthusiasm for the role, and emphasizes your most relevant skills. One of the questions we often hear is “do employers actually read a cover letter?”. Yes, they do! A well-written, concise cover letter can really help you stand out in a competitive job search.


Brand

There are three steps to take when preparing to write a cover letter:

1. Research

  • 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

2. Prepare

  • 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.

Craft Your Best Cover Letter

Our Cover Letter Guide breaks down the key sections and provides an example.