I’m sure with the first week of the spring semester flying by, upperclassmen are already anxiously hunting for summer work opportunities. Once assignments and exams start piling up, it’s easy for time to silently slip away. Luckily, thanks to the Career Center, many students have reputable resources to help them tackle the internship and job hunt.
One of the most important parts of applying to jobs and internships is writing cover letters. Depending on how many different positions you apply to, you could find yourself writing dozens of cover letters. It can be overwhelming to attempt to make yourself sound professional in so many varying ways, but with advice and workshops from the Career Center, it can seem much more manageable.
I attended a quick online lecture from the center on writing cover letters and I already feel more prepared. They helped me understand the connection a cover letter has to myself as an individual. Its purpose is to act as an example of your written communication skills — a skill necessary in nearly any profession. No wonder potential employers want to read the cover letter first, they wouldn’t want to waste their time on someone who can’t communicate effectively.
The Center for Career Development breaks down the cover letter into its simplest forms paragraph by paragraph. The first paragraph is a formal introduction following a personalized greeting to your potential employer. The letter continues with a thesis statement centered around listing a few of your professional skills. The finishing touch is a direct description of the company and position you are applying for.
The next two body paragraphs are heavily carried by your past experience. Here, it is imperative that the experience you share ties back to at least one strength you have listed in the introduction. It’s a great opportunity for you to advertise yourself and explain how you became proficient in a given skill. Make sure you complete some research on the position you are applying for to be able to make yourself more marketable.
It’s important to also include your personal voice in the cover letter. Of course you want to sound as qualified as possible, but most employers will appreciate a more personal touch. Make sure to thank the employer for taking the time to look over your cover letter in your closing paragraph. Signing your letter and uploading a personal signature adds a nice final touch as well.
I was able to learn all of these helpful tips for crafting the perfect cover letter from an online presentation by the Career Center. It took much less time than I thought it would, with the presentation only being about 11 minutes long; plus I was able to do it from the comfort of my own room. I was able to take many helpful notes on the information presented and will definitely implement it into my future cover letters.
The presentation concluded with a list of helpful “Do’s” and “Don’ts” to keep in mind when constructing your cover letter. There was also an opportunity to submit any questions I had directly to the center via the presentation chat. Due to the presentation being pre-recorded, responses will take at least two to three business days.
I would recommend anyone who is nervous about the job or internship applications to attend one of these webinars. It’s a great introduction to the Career Center, especially if you haven’t been since your freshman year UNIV course. It’s a helpful resource for Huskies looking to succeed.