Oh, the Dreaded Cover Letter

November 6, 2017

 

 I love writing cover letters! SAID NO ONE! 

 

Why don’t people want to write cover letters?

Because not everyone is strong in writing.

Because many people don’t like self-reflecting.

Because a lot is at stake.

Because you don’t know what to

communicate in a cover letter.

 

Can you relate?

< Good >

 

This post will equip you with 10 actionable and helpful steps for writing your cover letters. And

the best part … if you still need help … I have

a workbook that will help you write your cover

letter outlines and write your letters.

 

 

THE COVER LETTER WORKBOOK

 

And don’t forget, I am always available to help you with this feat.

(email: eloise@eloisedesignco.com)

 

< LETS GET TO IT >

 

#1

Know the Purpose: Realize the Purpose of a Cover Letter

Before you can write something well you have to understand why you are writing.

The cover letter is the connector between your resume and their job posting.

The purpose of a cover letter is to communicate HOW & WHY

your experiences, skills, and abilities exceed and serve their needs.

{remember your resume is the what & who}

 

#2

Gather Your Thoughts: Create an Outline Before Writing

Writing a cover letter, research paper, book, or article can be daunting IF you don’t break into manageable steps. Remember your elementary thru high school days when you had to turn in an outline for your paper before you began writing? There was some reason to your teachers’ madness… they wanted you to formulate ideas and organize your thoughts. This helps you write clear, better, and easier.

 

Here is the basic layout found in my COVER LETTER WORKBOOK.

 

1st Paragraph:

Answer the following questions:

  • Who are you?

  • What are you doing?

  • What are you pursuing?

  • Why should we consider you?

 

2nd and 3rd Paragraph:

  • Create themes from YOUR experiences and  skills from YOUR resume

  • You can have many themes in your outline –  you will only pick 1-2 for each cover letter

  • Do not write blanket sentences that anyone could write. Ex: “I have a great work ethic and I work well in a team setting.”

 

Last Paragraph: Wrap it up

  • Express genuine interest in the position

  • Invite them to contact you

  • Thank them

 

 

 

#3

Tell a Story

In paragraphs 2 and 3 from the outline above, you want to pick your most relevant and impressive experiences and skills from your resume and tell what you have done and how you can serve them. Do not talk about all of your experiences and don’t list all of your skills. Highlight 1-2 experiences that apply to the job you are applying for. For the skills, pick the ones that you have used in multiple experiences.

 

 

#4

Make the Connection

Don’t assume that the potential employer makes the connection between what you have done and what you can do for them. Tell them. Connect your experiences to the job postings responsibilities and their needs.

 

#5

Start Writing

Write your first draft in a new document and don’t worry about length. Just write. You will clean it up later. It is much easier to shorten a long letter, than create new thoughts.

 

#6

Clean It Up: Edit, Revise, & Condense

Walk away from your draft for at least 1 hour. Come back and read through it. Edit it, clean it up, make sure the sentences flow easily. If you have to read 1 sentence more than once, than you may need to revise it. You may want to enlist the help of someone to review it. Not your roommate or friend – a professional who can look at it from a different perspective.  I can help with that! ;)

 

#7

Save Your Master

Congrats you have your master cover letter!

Save this and begin here each time you write a cover letter or cover letter email.

 

#8

Make It Personal

Take the master cover letter and custom it for each job. You may need to switch out 1 theme for another. You can refer back to your outline for this. Remember to use terms that they use and cover items that they find important.

 

 

 #9

Brand It

You are a brand. Impress them with the quality of your documents. If you are consistent in font, color, and style, you will be more memorable. (you want that!) If you need help creating a visually strong resume, cover letter and reference page, consider contacting me about my Resume Package. Look to the right, doesn't that look good?

 

 

#10

Save It: Keep Yourself Organized

Keep your files organized in folders and named clearly so you don’t mix up documents. You will need to save your documents as Word and PDF files. ALWAYS send PDF files. Do not send WORD files. They shift on different computers and programs.

And there you have it… 10 HELPFUL and ACTIONABLE steps to writing your cover letters. If you found this helpful, share with a friend. If you are a member of AlumNetwork and found this helpful,

invite a friend to join!

 

QUESTIONS?

Email Eloise at Eloise@eloisedesignco.com

 

THE COVER LETTER WORKBOOK  

 

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