List Appropriate Skills
To show potential employers that you are the perfect fit for their position, include skills on your resume that mirror the assets they are seeking. See how your experiences match up with what they are looking for because that’s what people pick up on as they look at your resume. They review the experiences you’ve had so you want to make sure you tailor those to the position you’re applying for. Focus on what each employer’s interests are and emphasize those strengths that are compatible.
Review the job description. See what skills or qualifications they are looking for. Include these, as long as you have them, and any others skills or qualifications that you think are relevant to the position.
Use Your Connections
Make a connection with your potential employer by mentioning a mutual friend or acquaintance in your cover letter if possible.
Did you speak with a representative from the company at the Career and Internship Fair? Perhaps someone within the organization referred you to the position or maybe you previously worked for the company? If so, include this!
Use the first sentence of the cover letter to reference the connection with the potential employer. The best introduction to a potential employer is to remind him or her of the face-to-face or telephone conversation you have already had relative to your job search or to mention that you have heard about the job vacancy from a friend or other contact that works for the organization.
Address a Specific Person
If the job description identifies a specific individual responsible for the hiring process, be sure to address your cover letter to that person. Even if the description doesn’t identify a specific person, you can still make your greeting more personable than “to whom it may concern.”
If the company doesn’t give a specific name, use “Dear Hiring Manager,” instead. Even though it’s not a specific person, you’re still addressing it to someone.Another option is to call the company directly to ask whom you should address your cover letter to. Reaching out to the company in this way could also show the person reading your application, that you are taking the process seriously!
Talk About Why You Want the Job
Tailor your cover letter explaining to the company why you want to work for them. Think about what appeals to you about the specific company or position. What do you hope to contribute to the company?
If the company is small, explain why you’d like to work for a small company, and vice versa if the company is large. If the organization is — or works closely with — a nonprofit, you could explain why the organization’s cause is important to you. Ultimately, you want to demonstrate to the potential employer that you know what their company is about, and why you are eager to work for them.
The Career Planning Center can help you to develop a strong cover letter and resume. Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us.