I’ve missed a few days worth of posts. I should feel awful about that, but somehow I realize that there are more important things that I need to be doing right now… so I’ll give my conscience a bit of a break.
The past number of days or half a week I’ve basically been working on mastering the art of a number of things. Firstly, looking for jobs to apply for and secondly working on the actual application for those jobs. So far that has meant writing a bunch of cover letters.
What should go into a cover letter? That’s the main thing I’ve been trying to ask myself repeatedly as time goes by. Generally I try to look at it from perspective of the person who will be receiving the resume/application along with my cover letter. Then I ask myself, based on my research of the company, what would I want to see in an applicant.
Then I write down whatever comes to me.
If there is such a thing as a recipe for a cover letter I’ve set mine up like this.
Hello Human (replace human with a name…)
After researching the company I’m applying for, my first paragraph (or two) generally tries to make some kind of statement based on who the company is, what they do and why I’m even taking the time to write a cover letter and submit a resume. I try to make a connection between who I am and what they do.
The next bit (another paragraph or so) talks about who I am, what I’ve done, how I learned to write code and a statement about changing the world by writing code. (You don’t have to say anything about changing the world, but you probably should convey the idea that you want to make a difference.)
Now it’s time to start closing the letter. I like to include a sentence or two that reiterates why I want to work for a company. (I love what you are doing. Bringing about world peace is a noble and noteworthy goal.) Make them feel good about themselves and you – genuinely mean what you say.
Next to last I give a simple link to my portfolio, explaining that they can find links to everything from there.
The last thing is to express gratitude for their time in considering you for the position and let them know you are looking forwards to discussing how you might fit into what they are doing…
End with your name.
If it’s an email you may want to attach your resume. If it’s a form on their site, make sure you include all the information they are asking for…
And that my friends is how I go about writing cover letters. Is it the best way to do it? Probably not… but it feels right to me and I guess time will tell if it works!
What, in your opinion, is the most important part of a cover letter?