As you’re applying for jobs/internships, the cover letter (or should we call it cover email?) can be considered the most important part of your submission. Meant to grab the attention of the employer, it should leave them intrigued enough to open your resume. Yesterday, we received a tweet from @tracey_c asking for tips and tricks. Since it’s hard to sum up in 140 characters, I wanted to post some of the necessary basics. For full disclosure, I’m not an HR representative, but I do know after sending countless job applications upon graduation what does (and doesn’t) work.
First, the opening should include the purpose of your email. “Hope all is well. I’m inquiring about the open X position at X I found on X.” Stating the purpose before you jump into your personal pitch is key. You want the person reading to know right off the bat why you are emailing them.
Second, provide a snapshot of your relevant experience. Relevant meaning your job as a waiter during college is not as relevant as the internship you had in public relations last summer. Also, tie your past experience to the position you are applying for and the agencies specialities. As @JamesBurgePR stresses, customize the email displaying you have done your homework and aren’t just sending the same email to every HR rep.
Third, justify why you’re the best fit for this position. Whether it’s because of your past experience or it aligns with your immediate interests. Describe what skills you can bring to the table that not everyone can. Nowadays, think social media!
Last, thank them for their consideration and make a proactive statement that you will be following up with them shortly. And then most importantly, follow-up using your discretion if you do not hear back (maybe four to six days later). Show that you are really interested in this company and position.
Tip: In your signature, include links to your social media channels. Trust me, they’ll be looking anyways so you might as well save them the Google search.
Overall, your cover letter should be concise, personalized and to the point. Reread it three, four or five times because grammar mistakes are a one way ticket into “deleted items”.
Are there any tricks you used in the past that have worked?