A list of “20 Things Every Twentysomething Should Know How To Do” has, among things like “parallel park” and “respond to criticism,” the ability to “write a cover letter” at number 16. This is very interesting, don’t you think?
Here’s their reasoning: “Filling out an application is a pretty simple process but, in all likelihood, the job you really want is going to take more than a list of references and previous employers. Cover letters require some effort, but it can be the difference between “don’t call us, we’ll call you” and “when can you start?””
It’s really simple to see why. A good cover letter is your introduction to the potential employer and is their first impression of you.
So knowing how to write a good cover letter is important:
- Do some research on what a good cover letter entails. A good place to start is here on this blog.
- Write some sample cover letters and ask friends to critique them. Ask friends who regularly make comments about misspelled words and grammar mistakes — they see those things. Ask friends who have businesses. Ask your older relatives. Then take those marked up samples and see where you can improve.
- If you are struggling with this skill, consider investing in a professionally written cover letter for a potentially lucrative job. It is a small investment for a big return. You can use it as a learning experience to improve your writing. Some jobs do not require writing skills once you are hired, but it is a good skill to have anyway.
Even if you are not the one who wrote your own cover letter, the fact that you recognize the importance of a good cover letter shows you value professionalism enough to invest in it.