By now many of us know that writing a cover letter is far different from writing your average college paper. Your wording must be concise, your tone professional and of course you must remember to use your greatest persuasion strategies.
Cover Letters Suck!
While many of these aspects may seem difficult and even tedious for students they are arguably crucial in composing a successful cover letter. The following professionals explain to CM readers the underlying importance of each cover letter technique that many students struggle with.
1. “It’s somewhat time consuming to make a personal connection to every company that I’m applying to.”
– Maddie W. Providence College
“Making a connection to a company allows candidates to personalize their letter and shows that they’ve done their homework and are serious about being hired. It allows students to stand out from the many other candidates applying for the same job. “
– Dave Mulhern, director of strategic sales at Avaya
2. “I never know how to open my cover letter in a creative and unique way.”
–Bridget N. Boston College
“If you don’t catch the employers attention in the first few lines most wont read past the first paragraph. In the opening of your cover letter you should convey ethics, creativity and reliability. Your ultimate goal is to get them to your the resume.
– Sandy Spector, director of business office and human relations at Kehillah and Schechter Academy
3. “I hate having to use mature and sophisticated language, I feel like I often sound fake.”
– Anna R. Bentley University
“Using sophisticated language is important because it shows that you’re a professional candidate. Employers will take you seriously if you use good grammar and compelling language. However, it is important to not go overboard and sounds too technical. You want to be personal.”
– Pam Manolakis, vice president of software development at Computer Corporation of America
4. “I feel like I never have enough space to get my point across, I wish it was acceptable for cover letters to be a bit longer.”
–Jake K. Iona University
“When it comes to cover letters keep them short and simple. The point of a cover letter is to be concise and get your point across without having to write multiple pages. Employers will respond better to a candidate who can say why they want to work for them in a brief summary.” – Colleen Wade, corporate clerk at W. Walsh Company Inc.
5. “I feel like a lot of the time I just repeat what my resume is stating.”
– James L. University of Vermont
“Your cover letter is in fact very different from your resume. Most employers will read your cover letter prior to reviewing your resume so it is crucial to make a profound impact in your letter. This is the perfect opportunity to answer the question ‘why do you want to work for me?’ “
– Tricia Longo, Department of Social Services