Perfecting Your Cover Letter

Perfecting Your Cover Letter

writing the perfect cover letter It’s internship and job-hunting season, and as if crafting the perfect resume to accurately list your experience and accomplishments isn’t enough, mastering the art of cover letter writing is another skill to possess. Although cover letter writing may seem bland, there are easy ways to make your letter stand out among a sea of many.

Know yourself

Deciding on a personal statement that accurately describes your experience, passion and ambition is imperative for the opening paragraph of your cover letter. Take an hour out of your day to make a list of all of the qualities that you like best about yourself, and be sure to list adjectives that describe you. If you’re accustomed to writing press releases, think of your personal statement as a boilerplate: Who are you, and what unique skills do you bring to the table that can better a company? Use your opening statement to showcase your stellar personality – we know you have one! Creating a personable intro will grab the reader’s attention and up your chances for being called in for an interview.

Hone in on your skills

Most job postings entail a job description, which pinpoints the necessary skills, qualifications and on-site duties of the job. The second paragraph of your cover letter serves as a means to discuss your skills that match these needs – so be descriptive! Applying for an event planning position? Concisely describe past events that you’ve coordinated, and be sure to mention the results that it yielded. This paragraph also serves as a way to include any of the technical, nitty-gritty skills that you’ve learned over the years, like software programs and social media platforms (don’t be hesitant to mention your fierce tweeting skills!).

Leave a lasting impression

The third and final paragraph is dedicated to driving home your message and truly “selling yourself” to a potential employer. Don’t be afraid to be a little assertive in this paragraph – if you’re qualified, you deserve this job! Be sure to leave your most up-to-date contact email, phone number and Twitter handle in this paragraph, along with a final reminder as to why you are the best candidate for the position. Before sending the letter, be sure to sign it with your fanciest signature.

Cover letter writing takes practice, but once you find the perfect formula for crafting yours, it becomes a science. Printing your letter on a high-quality parchment will help it stand out among a pile of other hopefuls, so invest in a pack of paper at your local office supply store. Before sending your letter, be sure to proofread it a couple of times to pick out and correct any grammatical errors. After mailing your letter along with your resume, hope for the best and don’t forget to follow up with your potential employer in two weeks regarding your application. Happy job hunting!


Lindsay Shoemake

Lindsay Shoemake currently works in the media industry in Atlanta, where she manages a robust client roster on a daily basis. When she's not working, Lindsay is the founder of career-lifestyle site That Working Girl, along with her personal blog, Lindsay, Lively. She enjoys a great cup of coffee, traveling and helping other women attain their greatest career goals.

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