March 20, 2015

I Hate Cover Letters

I know that hate is a very strong word so I try not to use it often. But seriously, cover letters, I hate them. With a burning passion. I understand that they're completely necessary for the job process, but every time I sit down to write one I feel stifled creatively. I wreck my brain for days trying to think of ways to effectively get someone's attention, sound professional yet creative, witty yet respectful blah blah blah...when honestly, I think that this blog speaks louder than any cover letter I will ever write.

But since we're friends, I cant just end this post with "I hate cover letters, peace out". So I'm going to try and be helpful.

Over the past few months I've written both good and bad cover letters and I thought it would be nice to share some of the things that I've learned along the way. 

 1. Take your time. 
Please don't wait until the application deadline to try and write your cover letter. I can't tell you how many times this has blown up in my face. Give yourself plenty of time to write, change your mind, and rewrite!

2. Find your voice.
 Just like every blogger has their own voice, a signature way of speaking, you have to find that when you're writing cover letters too. HR Managers probably receive hundreds of applicants for the same job so you have to stand out among the crowd.

3. It not all about you
I mean, technically it is because your'e trying to sell someone on your work ethic and skill set, but a company also wants to know what you can do for them. How can you bring something different to their team? So break away from the "I" statements and drop a line about them.

4. Proof read
I can't tell you how many times I've found the most obvious mistakes by simply reading over my writing two or three times. I've also sent out cover letters and then caught mistakes 5 minutes later. Please don't do that. It's probably common knowledge to include this tip, but I had to say it anyways

5. Have someone else proof read
There's a reason teachers did those "paper swaps" back in middle and high school. Sometimes having a fresh, unbiased set of eyes makes all the difference. 


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