How To Write a Great Cover Letter
By: Molly Gilarde
Having a strong cover letter is very important when you apply to an internship or job because it shows the employer that you are qualified for the position and can help you stand out from other applicants. However, it can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to begin or have never written one before. Here are five tips to help you write a great cover letter!
- Use keywords:
Begin by looking in the job description for ideas on what to highlight in your cover letter. You want to use keywords from the job description in your cover letter so that these words stick out to the employer. If an employer is looking for someone who can make graphics, showcasing your experience with Photoshop or InDesign can help you be more competitive and show employers that you have the skills they need. An important step is to make sure your cover letter addresses your skills, why you want to work for the company and why you are the best fit for the role.
- Go beyond what’s on your resume:
Don’t simply restate what is on your resume. Instead, demonstrate what you will bring to the company and position if hired using specific examples. This will help you paint a full picture of who you are and showcase the experiences that you have had that may not always stand out on your resume. A cover letter gives you a chance to explain more details about who you are rather than just your experience. While your relevant experience is important to touch on, companies are looking for candidates that will fit well with the culture of the company and showcase their personalities as well.
- Keep it positive:
Even if you don’t have much experience to highlight, don’t apologize for that. Keep the focus on the experience you do have and avoid pointing out what you’re missing. If you have had other jobs or experiences that were not in your desired field, don’t overlook how helpful mentioning those can be. Even though they may not seem directly related to the job position you are applying for, you can often highlight skills learned in these jobs that are transferable to your field. Any experience is still experience and as long as you are putting yourself out there and doing what you can to gain experience, employers will recognize this.
- Make it personal:
Even though it can be time consuming, make sure that you are not using a generic cover letter for all of your applications. Try to avoid using cliches that will make you fade into the crowd of all the other applicants, such as describing yourself as “detail-oriented” or a “hard worker”. Although it might be more work, it is definitely worth it to write a new cover letter for each application. You need to customize each cover letter to the job that you are applying for, so employers know you put time and effort into your cover letter. This not only impresses them but can also make your cover letter stronger than other applicants. Putting in the effort to show you care about that company specifically, is something that can make you stand out when employers are reading your letter.
- Be specific:
Employers like to see what impact you would have on the company if you are hired for the job or internship you are applying for. You can show them this by using specific, measurable examples and statistics to show exactly what you have accomplished. Sometimes you don’t have the metrics from your past jobs and don’t worry, this is okay. Just try your best to show the impact you had on your past companies. This will give employers a better idea of what your experience is and what you will bring to the company.
A really great resource for help with your resume and writing cover letters is the UGA Career Center. They have tons of online resources that are worth checking out. Now you are ready to write a great cover letter that will boost your chances at being hired for a job or internship!
Don’t forget to get your executive board applications in by tonight at midnight! Exec is a great way to gain leadership and industry experience. We can’t wait to see you at our Agency Panel next Tuesday, April 5th at 6:30 in Studio 100 (first floor of Grady)! This is going to be a great panel and we will have speakers from Jackson Spalding, See.Spark.Go, Sift Creative and Hothouse. There will be a zoom option for those that cannot attend in person. Let’s finish out the year strong together, we’re almost done!