allisonleighann♥: How To Write A Ballin' Cover Letter
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Wednesday, November 26

How To Write A Ballin' Cover Letter



Before a week or so ago, I had no idea how to write a cover letter. I've applied to multiple jobs (and worked multiple jobs( in my lifetime, but I've never had one that I legitimately had to write a personalized cover letter selling myself to the employer in a way that was both professional and memorable. 

However, last week I finally applied for my first job that required one. And I was terrified. I had no idea where to even begin, and I knew that it could potentially knock me out of the running if it was too boring and copied straight from a template. So I got some help from one amazing girl in Her Campus' Blogger Network, checked online for some tips, and then got my professor to read it over after all was said and done. And after all of that, I think I now have a pretty good understanding of how to make your cover letter stand out without being too over the top of wordy. Since you can definitely find templates on Google for a basic cover letter, here are my more specific tips to make your own cover letter shine. :)


// Do NOT say "Dear Sir or Madam"

One thing that everything I read (and everyone I talked to) agreed on was that this greeting is completely outdated. You actually should address it to a certain person, if possible. Many times, it won't say who to address the cover letter to, but do your research! You can look up who the hiring manager is or who is over the department you're applying to to figure it out. And if for some reason you can't find who to address it to, it's much better to start out with "Dear Hiring Manager:" than a variation of the Sir or Madam.


// Don't undersell yourself

Do not ever ever ever put yourself down or say any variation of "I know there are a lot of applicants applying" or the words "more qualified than I am" or anything really that could go with either of those. Your cover letter is supposed to show off your own skills and talk about how amazing you are and how you fit perfectly for the position being offered. If you're already doubting your own skills or chance to get the job, the employers are going to do the same and throw your application right out of the pile.


// Tell why you love the company/why you fit with it

Say you're applying to a magazine that you've loved for years. You could start the sentence with "I am particularly drawn to [company] because I've been an avid reader for years now. I always keep up with [column or article] and I think that [specific article] was fantastic for it's [advice, help, etc] in my own personal life." Employers want to know that you truly know about whatever their company is. Nobody wants to hire someone who knows nothing about them and can't even do a little research before applying. Plus, the more personal you are, the less likely your cover letter is going to sound basic and boring and copy-and-pasted from a website.


// Tell them why you'd be a perfect match for their company

Instead of mentioning how the job would help you (help you learn certain skills, bump your resume, etc - apparently a lot of people do it!), explain how you can help the company! This is the part of your cover letter that should brag on your skills. For example, a sentence from my own cover letter reads like "From creating ideas and managing posts, forms, and Mailchimp for my own blog for the past two years to managing the social media corner of [company], I’ve learned through experience the organization, multi-tasking, and self-motivation that I would need to be an asset to [company] in this position." I followed by explaining even more reasons I would be perfect for the job, and it's most definitely what they want to hear. They want to know how you would benefit them, not the other way around.


// End with a specific sentence

In the past week, all I've heard from everyone is to end my cover letter with "I am thrilled at the possibility of being involved with [company] in a larger way, and I would appreciate the opportunity to meet or talk with you at a later date. I’ll be sure to follow up in the coming week and have enclosed my resume with this letter." And then make sure that you actually follow up a week later! It'll keep you on the radar, whether they reply or not, and it shows that you're serious about the job.


So those are my five biggest tips! If you add these into whatever your cover letter already entails, I promise it'll make it at least 5x better! Also. I just applied for this job, so all well wishes and good energy sent my way would be super appreciated. :)

Do you have anything to add? Any other tips? I'd love to hear them in the comments!

Happy Wednesday!
 


12 comments:

  1. Part of my job is to help college students write their cover letters. I have a lot of tips but my most important two would be 1) use measurables. If you make a claim, support it with data or facts. 2)if your cover letter is successfully written I should be able to guess the role description from the job that you are applying for by it.

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  2. Thank you thank you thank you for this! I'm actually in need of a great cover letter right now, and I almost made the "Dear Sir or Madam" mistake . . . you're a life saver!

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  3. I NEEDED THIS!! I always struggle with my cover letters! My resume is kick butt, but my cover letters are always "meh"! Thank you!

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  4. These tips are great. I was currently reading about cover letters in college these days and all I was like "duh how do we practically do it"
    Noor's Place

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  5. Ahh! I am saving this because my New Years resolution is to work on these skills! Thanks girl!

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  6. A cover letter is your first introduction to a new employer. The information you've shared is right on target.

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  7. I have to say that this is very useful information that I can use.

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  8. Great post. This will help my son tremendously.

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  9. Nice post! I agree with most all the information you provided in this post. Good work.

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  10. I was looking into writing a cover letter a few weeks ago.. I still have yet to complete it and this is so helpful. I will def reference this! Well done! :)

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  11. thanks for the tips! i want to change jobs and you reminded me i should start doing my cover letter
    and really nice advices too!

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  12. this is a great helpful list! thank you!

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Allisonleighann.

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