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What is a cover letter, and how do you write an effective one?

I am currently applying for internships online, and along with my resume, they often ask me to include a cover letter. I am not sure how to write one, or what it should be about. What do I include in the cover letter? Is there a general format to follow? #college #computer-software #internships #networking #cover-letters #job-application


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Eric’s Answer

Hi!


I've heard it described as a cover letter should help depict that you're a person, not just a resume. As the others have said, say who you are, and why the job is good for you and you are good for the job. You don't need to restate your resume, but if you want to expand more on one or two pieces, especially if they could use extra context that doesn't make sense on a resume, it could go here. Aim for no more than one page, and don't be worried if that one page has large margins, as a length estimate.


Thanks for the thoughtful response! One of the things I wasn't sure about was how long it should be around, and you addressed it for me, so thank you so much for that. I have a much better idea of what I should write now! Albert P.

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Adriana’s Answer

A cover letter is the way you introduce yourself to a potential employer. It needs to be concise, impactful and unique. So forget about using a template and sending the same cover letter every time. In the cover letter you will explain who you are, why you are interested in the job, and most of all why you think you are the right person to do the job. So before starting your cover letter you need to ask yourself this questions.


Introduce yourself. Explain what parts of your experience (classes, projects, previous jobs) bring skills that will help you do the job. Highlight the items that make you unique. Express excitement of doing this kind of work. Finally, close with a sentence that indicates that you are looking forward to hear from them and make sure your contact information is easily readable.


Thanks for the helpful advice! I haven't written a cover letter before, so this gives me a good idea of how I should write it. Albert P.

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Stephanie’s Answer

A cover letter introduces you, explains your purpose for applying for that particular job, highlights a few of your experiences and skills, and requests an opportunity to meet personally with the potential employer to learn more about the job (and hopefully interview for it)


The letter should be informative but succinct, so as to get your point across clearly and effectively, without taking up too much of the reader's time. Use relevant examples of skills/experiences that match the job you're applying too, and don't be afraid to let you passions and personality shine through! The recruiter and/or hiring manager is probably reading through lots of resumes, so anything to make yours stand out from the crowd and showcase what a great fit you'll be will be helpful in getting selected for an interview.


https://www.theguardian.com/careers/covering-letter-examples


Thanks for the advice! You mentioned that the letter should be succinct, is there a general word limit or range that you might want to keep it around? Albert P.

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Linda Ivelise’s Answer

Hello! A cover letter is a letter where you introduce yourself and briefly explain your experience you've written on your resume. It gives you a chance to explain your resume in a letter form. You can always Google how to write a cover letter and it will give you numerous websites that have cover letter templates. One way I like to describe writing a cover letter is first paragraph you introduce yourself, second paragraph you briefly explain your experiences, and third paragraph you end the cover letter with a professional closing. You don't always want your cover letters or resume to be more than one page long. Employers look for short and informative cover letters.

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