Often times a cover letter is your first impression when applying for a new job. In order to stand out from other candidates, you will want to write a unique cover letter for each position that is of interest to you. A cover letter allows you to clarify, detail, and expand on your most relevant skills and competencies. In addition, it allows you to highlight your written communication skills.
It is important that you have a compelling and impactful cover letter. To accomplish this, you need to answer the following questions before you begin composing your letter.
- Why are you interested in the position? (Consider what makes the position, organization, or company interesting to you.)
- What three skills or competencies do you possess that match the skills the employer is seeking in a candidate?
- You can find these skills by viewing the job description. These specific skills are the reason every cover letter should be unique for each job for which you apply.
For this assignment, you will explore the components of a cover letter, reflect on your most relevant skills, and assess what action steps you can take to make your cover letter stronger.
- The Cover Letters (Links to an external site.) resource contains step-by step instructions for creating a cover letter including: formatting suggestions, tips regarding how to highlight your best skills and qualification and how to tailor your letter for specific job you wish to apply to.
- For more in-depth guidance for writing a cover letter, please watch the Creating a Compelling Cover Letter (Links to an external site.) pre-recorded webinar (58 minutes).
For your assignment:
- First, identify a position on http://www.indeed.com/ (Links to an external site.)that interests you as a potential job opportunity. Using the job description, identify three skills or qualifications that match your background and type them out.
- Next, using the format suggestions from both the webinar and cover letter sample, create a two to three paragraph letter that addresses the three matching skills and/or competencies you would like to highlight for the employer. The goal is to tailor the body of your cover letter to the position you seek.
- Include the link for the job description you are interested in at the bottom of the cover letter along with the proper citations for any additional resources you utilize.