According to US job search agent, Career Builder, "A cover letter is your first opportunity to tell a prospective employer about yourself, and to do so in your own words." The cover letter is the first impression you give a potential employer, and in a highly competitive job market, it is imperative that you use this narrative to not only sell yourself, but also to stand out from other job seekers. One way to do this is to not only highlight your skill sets and work history, but to also capitalize on what you do in your downtime and how those hobbies translate into the type of worker you would be for their company.
Things You'll Need
Draft your cover letter in a Word document. Do not write it directly in an email text box. You will want to save, reuse, and tailor this cover letter for future applications.
Address the hiring manager directly and introduce yourself within the first paragraph. Identify why you are applying for this position and why you make the best job candidate.
Briefly outline your work history with career milestones, years of experience, or on the job challenges that you overcame that would translate well to this available position.
Include relevant hobbies or activities within the next paragraph of your cover letter. If you play on a recreational sports league, focus on teamwork, leadership, and making a commitment that come from that activity. If you spend time volunteering within the community, specifically identify committees you may have chaired or triumphs you have helped achieve within the organization.
Conclude your cover letter by stating that through your work history, your education and your hobbies you are the ideal well-rounded job candidate for the position. You have made the case for yourself, now prove to the hiring manager that you can do the job better than anyone else.
Thank the hiring manager for her consideration and remember to attach your most up-to-date resume to your email or mailed cover letter.
Tips & Warnings
- Only include hobbies and interests in your cover letter that are either relevant to the position or call upon specific traits distinct to your personality on the job.
- Photo Credit ULTRA.F/Photodisc/Getty Images
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