Continued from last article!
And then I want you to close this final paragraph by letting them know that you look forward to hearing from them (it’s kind of a call to action) and that they should reach out to you should they require any additional information from you in this process.Don’t forget, once you close out all four of those paragraphs, to sign off professionally. Sincerely, and your name always does the trick. And then I want you to read over your cover letter. You need to read it over for spelling, grammar, and appropriate tone. I want you to do this a couple of times, and if you have someone else that can proofread for you as well then do it. Just like your resume, a spelling error on a cover letter can get it thrown out of the process altogether, because people just don’t even waste their time if you have spelling errors on something. So really important here that you are proofreading your cover letter.
Once you’ve done all of that, then save it as a PDF and title that PDF document using your first and last name_cover letter_the date. Now in most cases, PDF is going to be the format of choice. It keeps your cover letter from losing the format when you have to upload it into an online system or when you’re sending it over email because sometimes the version that someone has of Word might open it differently than how you had it formatted. So unless they’re specifically requesting you send your document in a different format (like in a Word format), then I really highly recommend you send it in PDF. However, if they are asking for it in a different format, then make sure you’re following their instructions. And one other thing that I forgot to mention at the beginning of this video, is to create a header at the top of your cover letter that matches the header on the top of your resume.
You want this to look like a cohesive document with your resume, so things like your name, a contact phone number, and email address, and I always recommend putting your LinkedIn profile URL on your header as well. If you’re going to include this though, you want to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is complete and up-to-date. So definitely make sure that you go clean that up. But if you do have a good LinkedIn profile pulled together then definitely put it on your cover letter and resume. Okay, as promised because you stuck around till the end of this video, I’m going to share some examples for opening lines, opening sentences, that you can use in your introductory paragraph to really make it stand out. And the goal here is that you’re not starting your cover letter by introducing yourself like “My name is XYZ, I’m a student at ABC and I’m interested in being an intern at your company this summer.” blah blah blah You want to catch their attention right off the bat.
So one approach that you can take to show them that you’ve done your research on them and that you’re paying attention to what their company is up to…again this is just a made-up example but to give you an idea of what I’m talking about, you could say something like: ‘I recently read an article about your company in Forbes and I’m inspired by the innovative work that you are doing to engage your customer base as retail moves to primary e-commerce.” This shows that you’ve specifically been following them as a company and you’re referencing something that you’re impressed by. You are showing them that you are paying more attention than the average person. Now, you can do research on companies online these days and pretty easily find topics to lead with, but maybe they’re a small business and there aren’t enough articles out there, they don’t have blog posts that you can reference.
Then here’s another approach you could take to an opening sentence: You want to pick out keywords in the job description for this internship and speak to how you’re just what they’re looking for using those exact same keywords. So for example, maybe you’re somebody that has video editing experience (you don’t have to be a pro, but you have experience). Now say that you’re applying for an internship in content creation or digital media, and this job description mentions that video editing experience is part of what the company is looking for an intern to do in this role. You want to use that to hook them early on in your cover letter by leading off with something like: “In the past two years, teaching myself video editing and testing out the latest techniques has been one of the most rewarding ways that I’ve developed creatively.” This shows them that you do have that experience and that they’re going to want to keep reading to learn more about you. Another approach I like to take when doing a cover letter is making a connection upfront. You’ve probably heard it’s not about what you know but it’s about who you know. And who you know is a pretty powerful thing.
So if you know someone from within the company, and they’ve given you the okay to use them as a reference, then work with that! Don’tforget to check LinkedIn for potential connections that you may have to this company as well. If you do have a connection, you can kick off your cover letter by saying: “I recently met John Smith at my school’s career fair, and I was really excited to learn more about the internship positions within your company. He recommended I apply for the sales operations internship that you have an opening for this summer.”This shows them that you have talked to somebody within their company. You have a connection, and they’re probably going to be more interested to read on from there. Finally, if you’re striking out with these examples: referencing an article on the company, tying into keywords in the job description, or making a connection with someone.
If you’re striking out on those (which happens), then it’s never a bad idea to open with expressing genuine excitement. This is always a good strategy. Remember, a resume is a boring, formal document and the cover letter is your opportunity to express interest. So something like: “I was very excited to come across your marketing internship, as I’ve always been a big fan of the creative way that your company reaches customers, and I would love the opportunity to learn from and support your team.” You are showing genuine interest and excitement in the position. Okay, final words of advice with the cover letter… just like your resume, keep it to one page. Nobody wants to read more than that. Hopefully, this articlewas helpful for you today and you are well on your way to writing a compelling cover letter. Remember, don’t waste your opportunity to talk yourself up and draw a connection to the company… ALWAYS write a cover letter. If you have any additional questions about cover letters go ahead and leave them in the comments below, and I’ll do my best to answer or address them in future articles.