No Cover Letter: It’s like a PB&J without the Peanut Butter!

According to counselor coach Robyn Ryan, the absence of a cover letter is a deal breaker for many recruiting companies. And unfortunately, many applicants skip this vital step. Here are cover letter writing tips for today’s job market:
  • Unlike the typical advice to state why you are applying in the first sentence, Ryan suggests jumping into sharing your amount of relevant experience, skills and personal qualities.
  • “Use short powerful evidence detailing past achievements, skills, experience and results you've achieved.” Employers don’t want to read job descriptions. They want to know if you can be successful in the job you are seeking.
  • Make sure you are demonstrating your writing skills as many recruiters view the cover letter as a writing sample, a succinct one. Your letter should never be more than one page.
  • Address how you can perform the requested qualifications. Though you may think it will catch their attention to share that you can stand on your head for an hour, if you fail to list that you can do the job, you become an interesting and unemployed person. Don’t make them think. Tell them you meet their needs through past experiences.
  • Avoid typos and have a strong layout that is easy to read. If you are faxing your information, Arial is a good font that doesn’t blur as badly as a serif font. Do not use a font size smaller than 10 and 10.5 or 11 in many cases.
  • Make sure your contact information is on your cover letter. Creating a header that appears on your cover letter, resume and reference page is a good idea as it makes things look like a professional information package.

Career Development Services can help you with your cover letter. Check out our handbook and get feedback via email or face-to-face during walk-in hours or via an appointment.


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