So you’re getting out there on the job market. Good for you! You’re ready. You have a great deal of education behind you. You even managed to get authoritative references. You may lack job experience, but that’s something you’ll gain. Now, there’s a particular aspect of job applications that most people are struggling with: the cover letter.
The cover letter will be your secret weapon to landing an interview. If the resume gets the interest of a potential employer, they will proceed with the cover letter. The impression it leaves is crucial for the interviewing decision.
Many postgraduate students are wondering: “What do I write in the cover letter? Is there something I’m NOT supposed to write?”
We’ll help you figure this out.
Long Paragraphs – To Write or Not?
Hiring managers don’t have much time to go through all job applications they get. They want to skim through your cover letter and understand what it’s all about. Long paragraphs make that difficult.
Think: how do you like your blog posts? If you’re like most other Internet users, you prefer brief, clear paragraphs that keep you engaged. A post with long paragraphs looks like an endless chunk of text and quickly loses your attention. That’s exactly how a hiring manager feels when they see that in a cover letter.
What to write?
Short paragraphs of 5-6 lines, with up to three sentences in each. In this context, you might be wondering how long the cover letter should be. One page at max!
How about Obvious and General Statements?
“My skills, education, and experience make me an excellent fit for this job.”
Don’t write that. First of all, it’s an obvious statement. If you’re applying for the job, you clearly believe that you’re a good fit. The statement is also very general, since it doesn’t explain how you’re an excellent fit.
Try something more specific and less obvious. “The Master of Accountancy program in the Daniels College of Business helped me gain all skills and experience for the position as a chief accountant for your firm.”
How is that better? It shows a specific strength – your education. It also shows you’re crafting the cover letter for this job; you’re not sending the same text you’ve used before.
Should You Mention Your Flaws?
You know that your limited experience is a drawback. That’s why you’ll focus on the strengths, just as you’ll do during the interview when they ask you about the lack of experience.
During the interview, you’ll say something like: “Yes, I may lack impressive experience, but I am highly educated and my connections help me gain industry insights.”
Do you include something similar in the cover letter? No!
Focus on your existing strengths, experiences, skills, and talents without mentioning the flaws you’re trying to make up for.
The “Me Me Me” Talk
When you’re writing a cover letter, you’re focused on conveying your talents and personality. That can easily lead you to a serious mistake: making it all about you.
Yes, the cover letter should express your personality and indicate all your skills. However, it should not be all about you and the things you’re looking for. The employer has a different question to mind: what can you do for them? That’s what your cover letter should answer.
Remember: there is a fine line between being confident and leaving an impression as an arrogant person. The all me talk is a bit tricky to avoid. You have to sell yourself, but you mustn’t oversell yourself! Throw in some lines to show how the employer will benefit from hiring you.
If it’s hard for you to find the balance between confident and arrogant, you can go through essay writing services reviews to find a writer who can help you with that.
The Money Talk
Many job applicants have this question: do they mention the salary they expect in the cover letter? The answer is simple: no! You don’t talk money in the job application.
If the salary was mentioned in the job ad, the mere application means you agree with what they offer. If it wasn’t mentioned, ask around to find out how much this company pays. If you think you can get a decent salary, apply. Whatever you do, save the money talk for the interview.
These were answers to the most common to write or not to write questions related to cover letter. Hopefully, they bring you closer to your perfect cover letter, which will definitely improve your job search game.