November 20, 2015
By: Emily Barber, @emilybarbershop
The season has begun. And no, I’m not talking about Christmas. Internships are on the minds of students around this time of year – finding, applying, interviewing and all of the panicking that goes along with the process. If you’re sending in an application, chances are that you’ll have to write a cover letter to precede your resume. For many people, this will serve as your first impression with a company. Use these guidelines to help your cover letter avoid the recycling bin and instead land you the perfect internship:
Address it to the right person
Nothing will ruin an application like calling someone by the wrong name. Find the name of the hiring manager, recruiter or other employee that will be looking at your cover letter. If you can’t do this, just make sure to avoid the overused “To Whom This May Concern,” which sounds extremely impersonal, not to mention lazy.
Don’t repeat your resume
Your cover letter shouldn’t be a copy of everything that’s on your resume. This is a waste of time for both you and the employer. Instead, highlight some unique experiences you’ve had, or go into detail on another time when you learned valuable skills.
Explain why you’re different
There might be many people applying for the same position as you. What sets you apart from them? Do you come from a different background? (Hint: this is a great time to mention why Scripps kids make great employees!)
Show your knowledge of the company
Mention something in your cover letter that the company has recently done that either interested you or pertains to the position you’re applying for. If they have core values or a mission statement, explain why you relate to these messages and how you will fulfill them if you’re hired.
Give it a personal touch
You’re not a robot – so don’t write like one! Be respectful and professional, but don’t be afraid to show your personality in your cover letter. Many companies look for employees that are personable, and if you can convey this trait in your cover letter, you’re that much closer to a second interview.
Cover letters can be daunting, but a well-written one makes all the difference. Have any other tips? Let us know in the comments below!