You have about 5 seconds to capture the employers' attention!
The purpose of a cover letter is to capture the readers' interest quickly and get them to want to know more about you. You need to emphasize your specific skills and experience as they might relate to the particular job opening or employer.
Keep in mind the following points when preparing a cover letter:
1. The cover letter should be specific to the position you are applying and accompanied by a resume. It should be concise and to the point, containing no more than three paragraphs.
2. Find out as much as possible about the employer beforehand so that you can slant your letter toward the particular employer’s needs. For example, it is helpful to know what skills, experiences, or abilities each employer especially values so that you can emphasize this in your letter (the job description provides key skills and insight into the culture of the organization).
3. Address the letter to a specific person whenever possible (you can call the employer to find out the name of the appropriate person) this is better than sending it to "Personnel" or “To Whom It May Concern”.
4. Remember that your letter is meant to "flesh out" the outline contained in your resume. That is, your goal is to bring in supplementary information about yourself that is related to the job. Think of the letter as an opportunity to introduce yourself to the employer not to repeat the data in your resume.
A few words on cover letters
- For each position to which you apply, write a cover letter that clearly states your objective, your motivation for doing the internship, the skills and experience you have that most closely match those required for the internship.
- A good cover letter draws attention to two to four specific skills that are appropriate to the internship and then provides at least one specific example for each skill claimed. for example, anyone can state, "I'm well-organized and work extremely hard," but if you add, "For example, I maintain a 3.4 grade point average while working at as a tutor and child care assistant 25 hours per week," then you have provided tangible evidence of your claim.
- A good cover letter also indicates that you know something about the organization. This will usually be something you've discovered through your research from their website, from a news article, or from a conversation with a current employee. Ideally, you are able to relate this information to either your skills or your motivation for working there.
To view sample cover letters, access your CAREERlink Account