Application season has arrived! Take a deep breath, you have everything it takes to succeed, it’s all about how you package your experiences that make you win! Here are my tops tips on the structure and content of cover letters:
Introduction: Who are you?
E.g. I am writing to apply for xxx role. My name is xxx and I study xxx at xxx University.
Paragraph 1: Why That Department/Division?
You need to give some thought to why you are interested in a specific role and what exactly attracted you to that function. It is important to demonstrate a strong understand of what the function does and to demonstrate an understand who the client is, what sort of deliverables you might be expected to work on as an intern/analyst. Also try link the requirements to
Paragraph 2: Why the Firm?
You need to research what makes the firm special and/or unique to you. Your response to this section should demonstrate your understanding of the firm’s brand and how your division supports the firm’s brand. Try link this section to your own personal values if possible. And here are some top tips:
- Look at the annual report to see the vision of the firm.
- Find out if there is any part of the culture that is important to you.
- Did they win any awards?
- Do they have a unique/strong corporate social responsibility strategy?
- Did you meet the company at an event and speak to a representative? Did they mention anything that stood out?
Paragraph 3: Why You?
This section must be presented in an achievement-based style to show what sort of impact you could have in the department. Make a list of all your achievements, leadership position and extra-curricular activities to date. Write your achievement level/impact level and think of how this is applicable to the job description. Do not be afraid to sell yourself – if you don’t, who will?
Remember to link your strengths and skills to the job description. And use examples to back up your claims. For example, if you say you are a good communicator – use examples of how you have developed your public speaking or interpersonal skills, have you had a retail job? Do you give presentations as part of a society? BACK YOURSELF UP!
Finally, get a friend to proof read for any typos and to see if it reads well!