We have all read countless articles that promise to ensure resume perfection, and have hopefully revealed the necessary steps to achieve a concise and impressive summary of our work experience. However, another vital step in the application process is often neglected and overshadowed by the resume, and that is the formidable cover letter.
The beauty of an enticing and attractive resume lies within its simplicity. Recruiters want to know what you’ve done, where you’ve done it and for how long; they don’t have time to sift through piles of stapled resumes that delve into the insignificant details of each job you’ve had in the past.
This is where the importance of a fantastic cover letter comes in. The cover letter offers applicants the chance to further explain the minimal information that their resume provides. It is your outlet to explain why the experiences you have had make you the perfect candidate for the desired position, even if they are not directly correlated.
For example, I am a communications major interested in marketing and advertising jobs. However, when I was a freshman in college, the opportunity to be a high end fashion designer’s assistant was presented to me, and I have worked for her ever since.
Although the two industries seem distant, it is very easy to market the skills and experience this position has given me towards more communications-based jobs. I have learned the importance of aesthetic appeal, and it has taught me how to tailor both tangible and non-tangible elements for each specific client. I have learned how to handle an intense workload, and have mastered the uneasiness that is working with high-end professionals in the fashion industry. I have managed all of the brand’s social media and marketing tactics, keeping its followers both informed and interested.
Having no fashion experience or background, I’ve been thrown into situations where I had to think on my feet and be a creative problem solver. My experience in the fashion world combined with my experience in communications positions has given me a unique set of skills that I look forward to expanding even more.
Now, what exactly does a flawless cover letter entail? It’s quite simple actually; think of it as an advertisement for yourself, directed towards the company and position you are applying for. Follow these steps to ensure you cover all the bases:
- Focus on the job description and “requirements” of applicants, and be sure to mention them all.
- Provide extra information about specific things you have done in the past that relate to what the job entails, proving your experience and expertise.
- Explain why you are different from every other applicant, and why your unique skills are of value to the company.
- Make your letter attractive and appealing – for creative jobs, feel free to use templates and formats that will stand out and get the reader’s attention. For less creative jobs, use a clean-cut and organized format that looks professional.
- Don’t forget to mention your passion for the industry, enthusiasm to learn, and willingness to help in any way you can.
Do you have any other tips for a great cover letter? Share with us in a comments.