A skill you may not learn in any of your classes is how to write the perfect cover letter. Nevertheless, it’s a skill you’ll definitely need at some point — immediately if you’re applying for part-time jobs, later during your time at college if you want an internship, or once you graduate and enter the workforce. Although your qualifications and experience are crucial, it’s your cover letter that will ultimately determine whether an employer offers you an interview. Writing one may seem intimidating, but it’s actually quite straightforward if you approach it the right way. Here are some tips to guide you.
1. Choose the Right Font
Your favourite font can give your letter a personal touch, but there’s a risk it could distract away from your message or be more difficult to read than a classic choice. If you’re unsure, go with a safe option like Times New Roman.
2. Address Your Letter Appropriately
Find out the employer’s full name — you can search on the company website, on LinkedIn, or even ask a receptionist at the company. In addition, include the company’s address to emphasize that you’ve personalized your cover letter and not just sent the same one out with multiple applications. Finally, double-check all your spelling, especially the employer’s name.
3. Begin with a Formal Salutation
Open the letter with “Dear [title] [surname].” If you’re unsure about the employer’s title, a Google search or asking someone at the company is the solution once again. It’s particularly important to ask about pronouns when someone has a gender-neutral name, as misgendering the employer will certainly ruin your chances of an interview.
4. State the Purpose of the Letter
Your first sentence should state the purpose of your cover letter, even if it’s attached to your resume. Mention what position you’re applying for and where you saw it advertised. If there’s a reference number, include that — the company may have a large number of positions open at the same time.
5. Introduce Yourself
Provide a brief introduction to mention where you’re studying, your major, and any relevant qualifications you have. The first paragraph should be a brief summary to enable your employer to decide whether to keep reading.
In subsequent paragraphs, talk about your experience and skills in more detail. Pick out some qualities from the job description and provide real examples of how you meet the requirements. Avoid just naming characteristics without providing any evidence to back up your claims.
6. Explain Why You Want the Position
Specify why you want to work at the company, such as by explaining how it will help you meet your career goals. For instance, you could talk about the company’s mission or culture — you can find this kind of information on the “About” page of the company website.
7. Include Your Contact Information
Make it as easy as possible for the employer to contact you for an interview. Mention when you’re available for an interview and include a date when you’ll reach out if you haven’t heard back.
You may be able to avoid the need for a part-time job if you cut down on some of your expenses while at college, such as by finding a more affordable apartment. For Niagara College student housing, there’s Foundry Lofts. Choose between four- and five-bedroom floor plans to suit your personal preferences and budget. Apply now to secure a room at our lowest rates.