The thing about cover letters – some employers want them and some employers don’t. But, sitting down and writing a cover letter is definitely a worthwhile experience. Why? It’s one of the best ways to prepare for an interview!
Think about it… You’ve actually got to document how you’re going to market your education, skills and redeeming qualities to a specific employer for a specific job. You’re going to write down why you believe you meet the requirements of the position.
Job advertisements can often give lots of hints as to what kind of person they’re looking for to fit with their organisational culture. Look out for buzz words.
For example, here are some current ads where we’ve bolded some key descriptors:
We pride ourselves on innovation and creativity. We are looking for a confident content creator who knows their way around a camera and programs relating to editing and design. You’re the type of person who loves experimenting with new ideas.
We are seeking a passionate Junior Data Analyst to develop and maintain CRM documents, whilst also being hands-on in assisting with data operations. We relish looking after our clients: songwriters, composers and music publishers.
We promote our family culture which sees our people build long-term careers with us. We are committed to hiring and developing the industry’s best. Join our family where you are valued, supported and empowered to contribute, and where high performance and innovation is encouraged.
Get the idea?
A bland cover letter that just regurgitates your resume is not what employers are looking for. They’re looking for passionate, career orientated and hardworking employees. They are looking for someone who can think and analyse. The initial way to demonstrate this is through your cover letter.
- Read the advertisement thoroughly
- Highlight any specific describing words: passionate, hands on, confident
- Aim to include those words to demonstrate you have what they’re looking for
- Really think about why you’d be suitable or competitive for the job – and demonstrate it!
Write about your interest in your field. As a recent grad, you might be asked to write about why you have chosen your particular field or occupation. They want to know about your fitting qualities, but also about the skills you’ve attained and the relevant experience you have.
What do you think makes a good professional in your chosen field?
What skills and qualities do you already possess that you fully believe would make you a good professional in your chosen field?
Cover letters are personal – you’re allowed to bring your personality into a formal letter and entice the employer to review your resume and make the connections.
A well-thought-out cover letter and a well-structured resume can get you to interview. Even better, you’ll be well prepared to talk about yourself, the company and the job.
If you’d like some more ideas on writing a cover letter, attend our upcoming workshop. It is part of our Graduate Gateway: Approaching the job market with confidence! series of interactive, online workshops.