In todays era of cut throat competition and struggle to land yourself at a secure job is nothing less than a dreadful hassle. In this competition though, your application material stand as crucial deciding factors of whether or not you get the job. An important aspect of the application is your cover letter.
Cover letters differ from resumes in a significant manner. A resume is a formal and factual document about our education and work history. Although important, it is not that interesting at times. Whereas cover letters are your chance of standing out from the rest. They speak more about your strengths, past accomplishments and past experience relevant to the role you are applying for.
How to Format Your Cover Letter
Formatting the cover letter is essentially important because it reflects your professionalism, discipline and organised nature. Now, considering you are sending this application over an email or uploading onto a website, the company’s address need not be on the top left corner. Although if you are mailing it traditionally, it is mandatory.
Create a header at the top of the cover letter that matches with the header on top of your resume, because we want both the documents in cohesion with each other. The entry to your LinkedIn profile could be used here.
- Pre Body Structure:
Firstly, the date goes in the top left corner. Then the subject of the application comes after a 2 line spacing (eg: Walmart Summer Logistics Internship). A couple of lines below comes proper salutation to the person or the team that you are addressing.
Now moving on to the main body of the letter, first comes the introductory paragraph.
- First paragraph:
The opening line of this paragraph is the key. It is the deciding factor if someone is going to continue reading further or not. Examples for the same are provided in the sample answers section below. So after that opening statement, state who you are, where you went/ go to school and what you’re majoring in. If the role is related with your majors, specifically mention it. Sum up this paragraph by referencing the open position.
- Second Paragraph:
The companies usually list out the keywords & required skills they are looking for in a candidate, make sure to use those in the letter. It will not only help link you to this role, but also make you look a good fit for it based on your past experiences. Demonstrate your research on the company by referencing relevant articles, blogs, or social media posts they worked on, in order to match your tone with theirs.
- Third Paragraph:
Signify your credentials and accomplishments with a quick yet catchy story. Even a short snippet would work well. So for example, instead of just stating that you have a strong work ethic, give them a specific example about how you went above and beyond for someone or something in the past showing that you had that strong work ethic to go do so. It could be a part-time job or some volunteering experience too.
- Closing Paragraph:
You need to use this to restate your enthusiasm and excitement about the internship position and how you hope to contribute to the company’s mission. An ideal way to do this is using the company’s mission statement or values they most often post on their website. It shows that you’re paying attention and that you care for the longer run. The final statement of this paragraph should be that you look forward to hearing from them, like a call to action. And that if additional documents are required do the next steps, they should contact you.
In the end, an equally necessary part is signing off professionally. It should go as, sincerely, and your name. Read it over again for any spelling, grammatical and tonal mistakes too. Then save it as a PDF with proper naming and the date of creation, unless they are asking for any other specific format. After completion, have it proofread from someone else with higher professional experience before sending it over.
Just like your resume, even a spelling error can get your application discarded off the list. Due to which, proofreading becomes so essential.
How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship
It is pretty simple yet vital to understanding that each company’s hiring process is different. Some value a cover letter more than others, but no matter if they even ask for one or not, always submit your cover letter along with your resume. Overall, while writing your cover letter, do not think like a formal generic robot. Instead, showcase your excitement for this opportunity.
Sample Answer 1:
To show them you’ve done your research on them and that you’re paying attention to what their company is up to, introduce yourself as, ” 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 primarily, e – commerce”. Now you want to pick up keywords in the job description and use it to your advantage.
For example, maybe you are somebody with ample video editing experience, and see yourself a good fit in for the position. Consider you’re applying for an internship in digital content creation, and the prerequisites for the role is experience in video editing and pro photoshop use. Use this to catch their vision instantly:
- 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.
- I recently met David Buffay at my college’s career fair, and I was really excited to learn more about the internship positions within your company.
This shows that you have the relevant experience required and pushes them to read further. Also, having a connection drives them to read further.
Sample Answer 2:
Remember, if you are making your point with these examples and following the recommended structure, involving the specific keywords and article referencing, opening with an expression of genuine excitement is a good strategy. Something like:
- I was very excited to come across your marketing internship as I’ve always been inspired by the creative way your company reaches customers, and I would love the opportunity to learn from and support your working community.
This shows genuine interest in the position and does not exaggerate any desperation of joining. Make sure the entire cover letter is concluded within a page and written to the point.
Sample Answer 3:
Manhattan, New York | 888-888-8888- | [email protected]
Recruiting Manager – ABC Accounting
12 Orchid Drive, Newark NJ
I’m writing to you to express my interest in the accounting position open at your agency, with job ID 212120. My attributes as a Certified Public Assistant make me an ideal fit for this position
Backed by over 8 years of professional experience, I have a strong foundation in accounting and management principles. In my previous position, I managed the accounting of a financial consulting firm with over $100M in revenue. I not only met my expectations but exceeded them by increasing cash flow by 11%. I negotiated the policies and revised company policies to make this contribution.
I am certain that my skills and attributes would be a great asset to your company. Please give me a call at the number mentioned above to schedule an interview at your convenience. I appreciate your consideration and look forward to hearing from to you.
Sample Answer 4:
This example will be one of the shortest examples to get your job done as an ideal cover letter. While writing it is important to understand that the recruiter has a lot on his plate going on, so you want your cover letter to be as short and crisp as possible.
We will now construct a cover letter in under 5 sentences. Actual response is something as:
“Dear Sir/ Madam/ Team, I’m writing to enquire about the opening for an XYZ position at our company. I offer X years of experience in this sector and hold expertise in these skills.
The topmost part of my resume consists of my accolades in the industry and skills relevant to the opening position, I believe I fit in perfectly there. I’d welcome this opportunity of learning and contributing to a community where creativity and innovation is cherished.”
These type of interview questions are drafted to check your responses, performance and decision making abilities in unfavorable times. The article aims at providing you the most precise glimpse of the experience you will have with the recruiters at the company. Hence it is vital to be expressive in answering without hesitating a bit, and prepare well beforehand. This will give you a relative advantage over other potential candidates applying for the same job. Hope you liked the article, do let us know in the comments section below and don’t forget to share it with your family and friends. Reference links supporting the tips are listed in the “Reference” section below. Do visit for additional info.
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Sandeep Bhandari is the founder of PrepMyCareer.com website.
I am a full-time professional blogger, a digital marketer, and a trainer. I love anything related to the Web, and I try to learn new technologies every day.
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