Your cover letter: getting an interview
While your resumé can generate the interest of a recruiter, your cover letter can truly seal the deal and lead to an interview… or the garbage bin.
Often overlooked if not requested in the application process, the cover letter is still regarded by many candidates as a futile and dated exercise and as a mere summary of the resumé. Those candidates who avoid writing cover letters or neglect this exercise are also largely unsuccessful at getting an interview.
Just like your resumé, your cover letter should be:
- Properly formatted
- Impactful (in both content and language)
- Impeccably edited
- Carefully tailored
REMEMBER: Your cover letter IS NOT a lengthy narrative of your professional past nor a summary of your resumé. It is a response to a specific job posting addressed to a specific employer. As such, it reveals a lot about you as a candidate. Simply by reading your cover letter, recruiters can determine whether:
- You know how to write a proper business letter (or not)
- You understand and support the culture and values of their organization (or not)
- You are excited about the position and clearly grasp its nature and scope (or not)
- You have what it takes to make a valuable contribution to the team (or not)
In essence, a good cover letter should answer the three following questions:
- Why are you interested in the organization and the targeted position, specifically?
- Can you do the job? If so, how?
- Are you a good fit for the organization?
-> Check out our cover letter templates below and read the comments in the margin to understand how to best format and craft your own cover letter.
Talk to an expert
For any advice on how to approach, craft and tailor your cover letter, book an Intro to cover letter or Cover letter critique appointment with the Professional Development Coordinator at the Telfer Career Centre through Career Launch.
The worst mistakes you could make in your cover letter