Graduation is over. Degree in hand, you are now ready to get your career started. That means your resume has to pop out the eyes of a prospective employer, or hit the trash pile along with the other candidates that didn’t take the time to realize how important this one document is. First and the most important, never send out your resume without a cover letter, even if it’s not requested, send it. The cover letter is your way of explaining to your future employer why you are sending them your resume, what your expectations are, what considerations or response you are expecting. (Tip: traditionally resumes and cover letters were paper documents, but they are increasingly becoming online only submissions)
Cover Letter Examples and Tips
As a college student you rarely had time to sit down and create anything but essays, dissertations, and more essays. Now it is time to construct your introduction, which is your resume and cover letter. You may want to know how to make a cover letter for a resume that will impress your employee. Take your time, but before writing your first resume consider the following information so that you can get out of the pile and into the office.
- To Whom It May Concern Does Not Work Here
When you write a letter, it is either going to an acquaintance or people that you have yet to meet, but no matter who it is, keep in mind that they are just that, people. People have names, so use them. If someone sends me a resume “to whom it may concern” and they know at least my businesses name, I am tossing it. When you are trying to get into a company, at least show that you are interested enough to find out who the hiring managers are. You have search engines at your disposal, use them. Now in the event that you still cannot find who is in charge, or reading that beautiful resume and cover letter that you have prepared, by all means, go standard with your salutation.
- Grammar People!
There is nothing more that turns a person off, whose duty it is to read your resume and cover letter, than the use of bad grammar. Misspelling their names when making your salutations or omitting their titles is a no-no. People work hard to get those titles and they want them to be acknowledged when receiving correspondence. Typos may be okay for when you are chatting with your friends online, but they are taboo when constructing business documents. When in doubt about the correct spelling of a person’s name, call the company.
- The Littlest Things Matter
Although you may generate a great cover letter/ resume duo, and save it on your computer, remember when you send it out that you need to change the date on it to match the date that it is being sent. Go back over the content each time you send it out to different companies. One company may be asking for a specific qualification that you did not include. It is good to have your documents ready, but before you hit that button to send them, don’t forget the smallest details. Dates of readiness to be hired may have changed from month to month, along with your time out of school, and since your last day worked, all of these need to be reconsidered each time you apply. Be mindful that if you mention the businesses name on one of your emails, to remove it before you send it to another company. This is a no-no and has been moved to the trash pile.
- Is That a Stain?
Eww, I am not touching that! You do not want someone receiving a paper submitted cover letter with stains on it, say it with me, trash pile. Make sure if you are sending paper correspondence that it is on good stationery, clean and neat and matching. Invest in some, because there are still businesses that want paper submissions. Pick non-glare colors like beige, or ivory to give that extra care appearance.
Make sure you format your letter flawlessly, and don’t forget the envelope typed or hand written, it should be mistake free. No abbreviations please.
- First Impression in the Opening
Start with a friendly reminder, if you have previously had contact with this employer, of prior contacts and why you are now getting in touch with them. You are going to be one of thousands of candidates vying for the same position and your continued presence in their minds is going to go a long way when it comes to selection time.
- Pump Up Your Skill-set
Research the company that you are trying to get into. Those research skills that you practiced all of those years in school will come in handy many times. Find out what they want, and if you have what they want, expand on that in your cover letter. Mention what you know about their CEO and the company’s mission. Take the time to do your homework on the company, and they will be impressed with your due diligence.
You know now where to look for the latest and the most appropriate cover letter examples for students.
Entry Level is Your Level
Although you have to pump up your skill set, be honest about what you know. You will be tested on everything that you put in your resume. If you don’t know something, you just don’t know.
- Be what you are, A new graduate. Your biggest draw will be your education, to offset lack of experience, fill it up with clubs and organizations that you have been a part of during your academic years. Your internships are experience that will be noted when your documents are scanned, so include all of them, no matter how short a time you spent in them. You never know what may be relevant to can employer. Include sororities, honor societies, and frats, you never know who may have also been a part of the same organizations, and there you have a connection that may be a push to getting you the position.
- Thank you Cards. For years your parents have pushed you to make sure you sent thank you cards or letters to family members after gifts were given. Now that you are a college graduate, you will use that skill to send thank you notes and letters to prospective employers and interviewers. It shows them you have manners and it will go a long way in the process of hiring. Always bring your best manners to the business world that you are entering, it means a lot to companies to have the best face representing them, and it begins at the application stage.
You must realize the work it takes to find that great paying job that you have worked so hard to get. Many job seekers get discouraged and are only spending 10-15 hours a week hunting for employment. Be mindful that the average person spends about 3-5 months unemployed before something comes through, but those that search more hours, like 30-40, are more likely to find employment, and gainful employment, faster. Work the hours that you would expect to be employed, on finding employment. Make it your job. Use those hours productively improving your cover letter, your resume, and networking. You can also get assistance in writing a resume from an expert writing service if you are the one who askss "write my cover letter for me". Here’s to your future, raises coffee mug!