Whether you are graduating, looking for a job, or for an internship; you probably have already faced the challenges of writing a good cover letter that won`t make you look like an uncreative “cut-and-paster,” but will help you to stand out as a promising candidate among other young professionals.

There’s some conflicting advice– as every industry has slightly different cover letter standards. For example, if you are applying for a marketing position, the layout is more free form and you would need to showcase your creative expression and good writing skills. If you are applying for an IT job, you will need to include the specific experience and technical skills you have that correlates to the position you are applying for.  This goes across the board for any position; use the job posting to help identify what needs to be included in the cover letter.

Here are some tips which can help you to write an effective cover letter for any industry:

Emphasize your value

Hiring managers want to know if you are the one who can bring value and solutions to their business needs. Do your research on the company and show that you are aware of the company’s mission and its current challenges. Emphasize your related experiences to match those asked of the employer; perhaps explain how you solved a similar problem in the past or share relevant achievements.

Don’t Apologize for Skills You Don’t Have Yet

On the other hand, do not worry if you don`t meet the “10 years’ work experience” requirement. It is OK. You are a fresh grad! Make sure you don`t use language like, “While I have only worked as an administrative assistant…” Why apologize? Stay positive. Launch into your transferable skills and show that you are a capable candidate.

Keep it short

Don`t make a hiring manager bored! Be specific and concrete on your cover letter. Three paragraphs max. Avoid long exposition and jump right into relevant skills and experience.

Use a Few Numbers

Quantitative data on your cover letter will help to showcase your tangible experience.  You will be able to demonstrate to a hiring manager that your goals align with the company’s – bringing results and solutions to the organization’s problems.

 

Interested in taking your cover letter or resume to the next level? Contact the Career Center at career@viu.edu to find out how!