Writing a cover letter could be challenging for everyone; however, for freshly graduated students it could be literally terrifying. Indeed, a task to impress the recruiters when you have no previous job experience at all isn’t easy. In some ways it’s even harder than writing a proper CV – after all, you can use recent graduates resume help service for that. But it isn’t impossible either – if you know what to focus on.
In this article, I want to offer you 9 tips that could make the cover letter writing process more bearable and definitely more effective.
1. Don’t copy and paste.
Sure, it might seem tempting to come up with one cover letter for all the job offers you’re interested in. However, it won’t be nearly as effective as if you wrote a specific cover letter for a company – and the next tip explains why.
2. Tailor it to the vacancy.
While you might not have too many skills and professional qualities at the moment, it’s still important to mention the ones that are the most relevant to the position. The cover letter that is tailored to the vacancy is always more effective as it addresses the vacancy’s need and requirements specifically.
3. Address the HR.
If you know the name of the HR, definitely use it in the cover letter. This will make it look more personal, helping to set a more positive tone and to make a better impression right from the start. Moreover, this would show that you already did a bit of research about the company.
4. Avoid clichés.
Clichés are always bad and just like any other paper, the cover letter has its own ones. You should avoid stating the obvious (for example, “I will be waiting to hear from you” or “If you are interested, contact me”), claiming that you’re passionate about something, and so on. If you aren’t sure if a phrase is a cliché, better check it just in case before using in your cover letter.
5. Keep it short.
There’s no need to repeat what your resume is saying: if a recruiter is interested, they’ll definitely check your resume out. There’s also no need to list every skill and to mention every detail you consider useful and important. Just like I said above, use only the information that is relevant to a specific vacancy and be as specific as possible.
6. Don’t focus on education only.
Even if you might think that your college diploma is your only benefit, you still shouldn’t focus on it too much. While education is important, most companies still find skills and interest more valuable. Instead of writing too many about what you learned, focus on describing all the work experience you had, be it volunteering projects, an internship, and so on.
7. Don’t apologize for the lack of experience.
And even if you aren’t experienced enough for the position, don’t apologize for it. This would only draw the recruiter’s attention to your weaknesses. Instead, focus on positive: describe your strong sides and explain how you are able to benefit the company even if you don’t meet the desired qualification in some way.
8. Don’t be too shy.
Bragging, lying, and exaggerating your skills and experience is definitely bad. However, being too shy and modest isn’t good too, as most likely it will get you nowhere. Remember that the goal of a cover letter is to sell yourself, to present yourself as a candidate any company would like to hire. So try to describe yourself while keeping all these things in mind.
9. Have someone read it.
While writing a cover letter isn’t always easy, finding out whether it is strong or not is definitely much simpler. All you need to do is to ask someone.
Of course, it should be a person you trust – a person, able to analyze your cover letter from the professional point of view and offer you constructive feedback. After letting this person read your letter, ask them two questions – “Does this cover letter make you excited?” and “Would you hire that person?” If their answer isn’t a confident “Yes,” keep working to improve your cover letter.
And, of course, don’t forget to proofread it after you finish the final draft. No matter how good your letter is, even small typos could ruin the impression you were trying to make – and you wouldn’t want that.
Hopefully, these tips will help you come up with a strong cover letter and land a position in the company you like. I wish you good luck with your writing!