Written By Monica Page
There are many verified truths in the world: the grass is green, the sky is blue, you gotta fight for your right to party, and almost no one knows how to write a proper cover letter. Either people provide the condensed history of their own personal time, or they write a raving review of their current life progress on Earth. A person with even the smallest amount of attainable common sense is able to realize that both of the above are boring and easily forgotten. Everyone knows they have to do it, they just don’t know how to do it. In that sense, a cover letter is a little bit like Inception: confusion and epic stunts wrapped together in a philosophical look at dreams. So taking advantage of post-Titanic Leonardo DiCaprio, let’s take a complex idea and add in a Christopher Nolan script to make it purely chaotic, but highly entertaining.
An elegant solution for keeping track of reality.
The first step to writing a cover letter requires no more than a heartbeat and the ability to read. All cover letters need to include your contact information and the information of the person in which you are writing to. Using those AP Language context clue skills, this is a letter, meaning that it should be formatted as such. As I stated above, this is the no-brainer section that can only be screwed up if you work to mess it up. Seriously, you need to sit down in a state of pure enlightenment, contort your body into the lotus position and dedicate the next 30 seconds to destroying one of the most basic aspects of life. Instead of me wasting valuable blog time, Google how to write a letter and figure out how to add an address line. If this section confuses you, stop and do not continue; it will only get harder from here and there’s no crying in cover letter writing.
The seed that we planted in this man’s mind may change everything.
Introductions are the golden nugget when it comes being first or second on the hiring list. Screw up in the first paragraph and you might as well kiss the opportunity goodbye. This is where you provide basic information concerning what position you are applying for, why you are applying for it and information on the position you have already obtained. With that, you need to actually research what you are applying for. It’s beneficial to apply to multiple positions, as long as you are fully aware of everything it entails. This is not your high school English paper; you do not need to drown the person in irrelevant details to extend the length. Just brush the surface of what needs to be conveyed and keep it as brief as possible without sounding like an idiot.
They say we only use a fraction of our brain’s true potential. Now that’s when we’re awake. When we’re asleep, we can do almost anything.
If you dedicate yourself to one thing in your cover letter, it should be the middle paragraph. Referred to as the body paragraph by grade-school graduates, this is where you expand upon and elaborate on experiences relevant to the position. This does not mean to convert resume bullet points into fleshed out paragraphs as if the person you are writing to can’t read. Cover letters provide the opportunity to go in-depth into what’s included or not included in your resume. Highlight experience that supports the fact that you are qualified and a good fit for the position. Usually in this section, it is a good idea to focus on one or two main positions and elaborate on that. If you are highly qualified and have lots of experience to include, wait it out to elaborate on in the future interview. Also, you will still be submitting your resume, so the contact person will have a vague idea of what you can off.
You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.
All difficult things come to an end and with a cover letter; it is up to you to end it. State that you are interested and excited about the opportunity and feel as though you and the company/person will mutually benefit from the opportunity. There is no need to re-state the above paragraph in bullet point format. The key goal is to leave on a proper note and move on with your life. Provide contact information (phone and e-mail) and state that you are interested in hearing back from them. Say thank you, sign your name, proofread, print and send out.
You mind telling your subconscious to take it easy?
There comes a time in every person’s life where they need to be told the truth. Whether by a friend, family member or pissed off cat with extended claws, the truth can be painful, but also the best thing that may happen to you. So in relation to a cover letter, if you get to page two, it’s time to shut up. A cover letter should be looked at like an elevator pitch, telling the main points in a limited amount of time. Drowning out the reader in mindless facts is boring. To be perfectly honest, not all employers will even read the cover letter. Most skim the cover letter and resume, and base their decision off the little information they obtain.
The moral of the story is: keep it simple, keep it light, and know when it is time to shut up. Writing a cover letter is not brain science. If you have command of the English language, you can write a cover letter. If you know who you are and what you accomplished, you can convey it in a cover letter. Take a step back, breathe, and just write. Even if the first draft is longer than one page, you can always make it shorter. A cover letter is not the condensed version of Inception, not even the Cliff Notes version. Be calm and get it over with.