Writing a cover letter in a job application is a way to tell your story even before the interview starts. A great cover letter can really open doors. It needs to grab the readers attention, give some concrete examples, and make you sound unique. You want your reader to get the mental picture of your successes. That occurs when you understand your personal brand and are able to articulate it into words.
Review the SJSU guide to launching your career. Guide_Resume.pdf (see attached) Cover Letters are addressed specifically on pages 12-14. I would download this guide and save it as we will always have to come back to this correspondence later in our careers.
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Task: Draft a 1 page professional cover letter for the job posting you have selected to work with this semester. Tailor the cover letter directly to the person listed in the posting.
At the end of the page please copy and paste the description of the job once again.
Here are the notes that I commonly gave students last semester:
For the most part I felt that individuals needs to show more of their brand and credibility. Here are my notes as someone who reads through a ton of cover letters when I am on hiring committees:
– They want to know you before they spend the time interviewing you. How can you write in such a way that I can actually visualize and see you go through work experience?
– Watch vague statements. The most common things I hear are “I have communication skills, leadership skills and I am organized.” – I don’t know what the means to you? If a boss said you need to improve your communication then you would walk away wondering what the meant so someone reading a cover letter that doesn’t know you also wants to know.
– People will go back to cover letters that they remember. I need a catchy detail that hooks me into remembering. Cut through the clutter.
– Don’t rehash the resume. The resume are your qualifications and competencies. I can tell where you go to school and study. The letter of interest should capture the energy of you as an individual. Think how am I energetic, upbeat and excited for this job – how do I write that?
Anyways this is all to help you. As people studying interviewing start to think about how people in business read things. They read fast. They connect with things that are unexpected or new to them. They read fast again! I can’t stress that enough. You should visually make your written pages “pretty” to the eye. I may spend extra time if it looks nice.
You are gradded based on these following: (20 points total) Grab attention / Directed specific to reader This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeDetails about Professionalism This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeProfessionally Written / Lay Out Unique Qualities / Stand out factor