Name that Scenario!
Picture this. You walk into the coffee shop. You see the perfect table. There is an outlet nearby so you can plug in your computer. Your bag is down… That is YOUR table. It also doesn’t hurt that there is a little eye candy to your left. You order your latte/Americano/cold press, or whatever you’re drinking these days and you open your laptop.
And you’re off! Google is always a safe place to start. Then a sudden fear comes over you as you realize the only friend is the coffee cup sitting at your table. You take a deep breath and begin…
Well, if you guessed Job Searching, you got it right! Whether it happened like that, or a different way, the point is, it is grueling but necessary.
I was in this spot not so long ago. After getting countless rejection emails and a lot of nothing, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I’m going to enhance my resume and perfect my cover letter.
I didn’t even know what the purpose of a cover letter was until recently. Someone very wise told me to think about my resume as factual, professional and informational and to think of a cover letter as a way to show personality.
Although I understand what that means NOW, I had to do a lot of research to understand where to start. I did a lot of research and came across “Cover Letters are Hard to Write – But This Template Makes it a Breeze” by Aja Frost, a contributor for The Muse.
Here is a basic template that I found to be very useful:
Salutation: This may seem like a no brainer, but it makes a difference. Always try to address your cover letter to a specific person. Many times the job description it will have the title of the person you would report to. If not, the department manager or the HR manager can usually be found on the company website.
Opening Paragraph: This paragraph should show that you did some research. Research the company a little bit. What makes this company unique or interesting to you? What stood out to you about the company that makes you want to apply for the position?
Body Paragraph I: Use this space to talk about your previous experiences. Specifically, how have your past experiences prepared you for this opportunity? What skills have you learned that will help you be successful? Use your resume as a guide, but expand on these experiences and really tie them to the potential job opportunity.
Body Paragraph II: I’m adding this one. Tell the reader something personal about you. I’m not saying to spill the tea and confess your most inner secrets. Try completing this sentence: “I’m fascinating because…” Tell them a little bit about yourself and explain why this quality would be helpful in the position. The reason we do this is to bring a little life into the cover letter. This is what makes each cover letter different.
In cover letters, your experience and personality are important. Show it!
Conclusion: You can conclude many different ways. My favorite is to reiterate your desire for the position. Bring it home for the reader with why they should consider you for the position and why you want it.
So there you have it. A cover letter in a nutshell. I hope you find this useful and the next time you write a cover letter, the task doesn’t seem so daunting.
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Emily is the People and Project Assistant at (DJHP) Dr. Jan Hoistad Partners where she and other team members provide support services to busy professionals in need of a helping hand. She wears many hats in the organization and is passionate about helping others who are passionate about what they do. Recent projects include writing, editing, researching, creating power points, strategic planning, and scheduling. QuickBooks, project management, email campaigns, creating visuals, contact management, event planning and coordination and much more. Emily is always looking to expand her portfolio with new and exciting projects. She offers creativity, efficiency and peace of mind.
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