Lesson 3: Call-Worthy Cover Letters

Now that you’re a pro at the resume game, let’s turn to cover letters (it’ll be painless, I promise.)

In an ideal world, you’ve got a contact who can help you skip the online application. But sometimes you’ve got to apply online, and cover letters are, sadly, not optional. An application without a cover letter is like a sandwich without bread.

But there’s good news! Cover letters are a great way to start thinking about how to pitch yourself to your dream organization.

Rule #1: Put their needs first.

It’s important to fight the impulse to talk about yourself too much in your cover letter. This might seem counterintuitive, but bear with me!

As I wrote in this blog post, you’ve got to think about it from the hiring manager’s perspective. If they’re anything like me, they’re totally panicked. They’re glancing through dozens of cover letters at a time, searching for the letter that makes it crystal-clear the applicant has what it takes.

To appeal to this person you’ve got to lead with what you can offer them. Don’t waste time diving into your background, talk about how you can serve their business’s needs. (They’ll appreciate the thought!)

After all, in a sea of people leading with “I’m a [blank] with 10 years’ experience in blah blah blah…” a clear offer to help will stand out.

Today’s Assignment

Use the cover letter template in this blog post to develop your own quickly-customizable cover letter. Here’s a Google doc you can copy, with a real-life example of a great cover letter!

Extra Credit: Get a cover letter template that complements your resume, for A+ style.


Next week…

You’ve made it! After you enjoy your weekend, it’ll be time to reach out. Well…just a little bit. Next week we’ll focus on making your web presence appealing, professional, and friendly.