17 October 2012
One of the most nerve-wracking parts of a job hunt is the endless writing of cover letters. You may be tempted to just write one and send it everywhere, but that would be wasting a valuable opportunity to showcase your skills and sell yourself to a potential employer. By tailoring your cover letter for each new job, you can show why this particular job excites you, and, more importantly, why you are the perfect fit for this job. Explain why you chose to apply for this job with this company. Do they have a social outreach program that appeals to you? Do you admire and identify with their mission statement? Combining your enthusiasm for the company with how your credentials can benefit them makes you more appealing to the person reading your cover letter. Tailoring your cover letter can be especially important if you have a less marketable major like English, or Philosophy. By highlighting the transferable skills you’ve learned, such as the communication skills you honed by arguing your point in papers, or your ability to use reason and logic to weigh risks and benefits of a problem, and applying those skills to real life situations, you can make your more abstract major a plus rather than a minus. Most importantly, make sure you have someone else read over your cover letter, or go over it yourself with a close eye. There’s nothing worse than a cover letter addressed to the wrong company or one that has appalling grammar. Keeping these things in mind is a great way to boost your chances of getting that much-desired response.