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EP 46: Land the Job with an Effective Cover Letter

You may wonder if you should write a cover letter for a job you are applying for. Maybe the job advertisement does not ask for a cover letter. Think of it this way, chances are, if you have to ask the question, ‘should I write a cover letter?’ The answer is yes! Join Cath Anne on Episode 46 of The Homework Help Show as she discusses how to write an effective cover letter.

Looking for study tips, help with essay writing, or advice on how to be a better student? Welcome to The Homework Help Show, a weekly show where we teach, assist, and offer valuable insights for student life. From study hacks to writing tips, discussions about student mental health to step-by-step guides on academic writing and how to write a resume, we’ve got you covered. Want your questions answered? Write them below or join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #askHHG

TRANSCRIPT:

Cath Anne: [00:00:00] Hi guys and welcome back to our channel. My name is Cath Anne and I am the weekly host of Homework Help Global’s The Homework Help Show. Here on the show we provide you with valuable content for your academic and student life. Let’s jump in.

Cath Anne: [00:00:25] You may wonder if you should write a cover letter for a job that you’re applying for. Maybe the job advertisement doesn’t specifically request a cover letter. Think about it this way. Chances are if you have to ask Should I write a cover letter for this job. The answer is yes. The cover letter is the best way to show your employer or your future employer that you are the best candidate for the position. If you write a cover letter it may mean the difference between getting the job and having your resume relegated to the bottom of a pile of discarded resumes. It makes sense to create a standard resume and then kind of modify it for each different job that you are applying to. Last week on episode 45 we discussed a six step process that you can use to build your own resume. I would recommend that you check that out and then come back to this episode so that you can kind of have the resume and cover letter package you know. This week let’s talk about everything you need to know about writing a cover letter. So what is a cover letter. It is important to know the purpose of a cover letter a cover letter is a one page letter that you sent along with your resume so that your employer or your future employer can get to know you a little bit in your cover letter you discuss your experiences and your skills and how they might tie in to your future job. In the letter you discuss why you are the most qualified person for the position that they’re hiring for. Do not repeat everything that is on your resume. Think about a cover letter as a chance to make a link between your specific skills and how they connect to the job that you’ll apply for. Think of your cover letter as a sales pitch that will help you get the interview. Remember a cover letter is a great way to make an excellent first impression. Employers often use cover letters to determine which candidates they will bring in for an interview and which ones they will pass. If the employer requires a cover letter they will list it on the application even if it is not listed. Consider including a cover letter this will show that you have put some extra effort into your application. So there are three different types of cover letters. The first type is the application letter which responds to a hiring advertisement. This is the one that you will use most commonly if you’re applying to an open position with a company. The prospecting letter is the second type and this inquires about possible positions so you might use this in a situation where you are writing to a company to see if they have any work available. Finally there is a networking letter which requests information so that you can ease into your job search. So when you are applying for a job you will be using the application letter style. As I mentioned a cover letter should always compliment and not just replicate your resume.

Cath Anne: [00:03:41] The cover letters purpose is to add a personal touch your application for employment again. Check out episode 45. For more on how to write your resume and then move on to this episode and write your cover letter a cover letter creates a critical first impression with a potential employer or even something like a small typo can have your application sent to the bottom of the pile. On the other hand if you write your cover letter perfectly without any typos at all but it lacks character and it makes no mention of the company the hiring manager will also be likely to reject it. So it’s all about the balance. The best cover letters explain why you are the right person for the job. Why you’re interested in the job and makes a direct link between your specific skills and how they will apply to a future employment opportunity. Start by carefully reading the job description and evaluating the skills that they are required and match them with the skills of your own. Think about how you’ve use your skills in the past and discuss how you would apply them in your new position. A good idea is to think about how you use your skills and not just what your skills are essentially you’re demonstrating to a potential employer that you have experience and that you know how to use your skills. First let’s talk about what to leave off of your cover letter. There’s no need to include a lot of personal information although you want to show some of your personality. You don’t necessarily need to share intimate details of your life. Do not mention the qualifications that you do not have. Rather focus on the Daniels that you do possess do not mention salary unless the company asks specifics about what your salary expectations are. And finally the cover letter is not an opportunity to ask more questions about the job position. Save that for the interview. Keep your letter to about two or three paragraphs and don’t write too much. Make sure you are being very focused. If you do write too much it could have a negative effect and the hiring manager may not have time to read it. Remember detail your cover letter to each position you apply for. Make sure you always change the company and the name of the position at least in your cover letter and make sure that is geared toward the job description. There are a few things that each cover letter should include should include information about the job you’re applying for how you heard about the job so you may want to mention if you have any contacts at the company why you’re qualified for the job. What you can provide to the employer and then finally make sure you always provide a thank you for the company consider in application. Now let’s move on to what you should include in your cover letter. Before you get started. I would highly recommend going online and doing a bit of searching around cover letter templates and cover letters that already exist. This will give you a good idea of what a cover letter looks like and how it is broken down into a variety of different paragraphs to begin here. Cover letter you will want to begin with a header. This will include both you and the potential employers information. So you want to include your name your address your phone number as well as your email address and then that will be followed by the date. Usually this will be on the left hand side of the page similar to a business letter. You’ll then want to consider the salutation. Begin the cover letter with a salutation like Dr. Mr. Mrs. and then the person’s last name. If you are unfamiliar with the gender of the person who will be doing the hiring you can just write their full name and if you don’t know the employer’s name or the hiring managers name you can just write Dear hiring manager. This is a lot better than the generic and formal to whom this may concern begin with an introduction.

Cath Anne: [00:07:55] Begin your introduction by stating what job you’re applying for and where you heard about the job. Perhaps it was on career beacon or indeed dot com and you’ll also want to mention if you heard about the job from someone who already works there that is a great neck networking opportunity. Briefly mentioned your skills and how they match with the company. This will give the employer an opportunity to understand why you are writing the letter and why you might be a good fit. Essentially the idea with the introduction is that you want the hiring manager to keep reading so they can learn a little bit more about you in the body paragraph. You’ll explain why you’re interested in the job and the specific qualifications that you can bring to the table. Mention specifics and discuss how you have applied your skills in the past and you might even want to discuss a few different scenarios. Finally in the closing portion of your cover letter restate how your skills have made you a strong fit for this company and this position. If you have room you might want to discuss why you are interested in working for this particular company. However make sure you do not make your cover letter too long. It should not be longer than a page. So if some of this information is making it go longer than a page. Make sure you edit it and keep it limited to one page states that you would like the opportunity to follow up with them into it. In an interview or to discuss employment opportunities then you should always include a piece of follow up information.

Cath Anne: [00:09:34] So whether you say I’m going to call you in two weeks to follow up on this or suggest that you will be sending an e-mail to see where they are in the hiring process give a timeframe and follow through on it. Make sure that you then thank the employer for the consideration and for taking the time to look at your resume.

Cath Anne: [00:09:55] Finally you’ll want to include a professional signature include a complimentary clothes and then sign your name. If it is a physical copy you can type your name and then sign underneath. This looks very professional. However if it is an email you can just type your name at the bottom end of the email and then include your contact information below. When you have finished writing your cover letter. Always always always remember to edit and proofread it. Make sure that there are no typos involved and you may even want to run it through a grammar checker. Always give a pair of second eyes like a friend or family member so that they can look through your cover letter and resume to make sure that you haven’t made any errors and that it flows the way you want it to.

Cath Anne: [00:10:47] Remember you can always connect with us here at Homework Help Global. We’d be more than happy to give you some support around writing an excellent cover letter or just doing a bit of proofreading for you in some. Think of your strongest skills and how they apply to the job posting tailor each cover letter to each different job you’re applying to show some character and personality but don’t share too much information. Tell the hiring manager how your qualifications fit in with the job description. Be professional and confident.

Cath Anne: [00:11:23] Okay that’s it for me this week you guys. I hope this episode was of benefit as always if you have any questions jump in the comments down below. We always love to hear from you. If you do want to connect with us on any of our social media platforms or check out any of our other content Oliver information is in the description box below. If you enjoyed this video please give it a thumbs up and make sure to subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss out on any of our other content. Okay thanks so much guys. Good luck applying for those jobs. All the best. Take care.

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