5 High-Impact Cover Letter Tips For Recent Grads

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cover letter tipsTimes have changed, and competition in the job market is fierce.  It’s time for you step up your game, and that game starts with your cover letter.  For those of you who think a cover letter is unnecessary, pull your head out of…um…that book you’re reading right now, and realize it is a necessity.  Here are 5 high impact cover letter tips for recent grads:

1.  Highlight your Social Media Skills

Believe it or not, there are a lot of corporate positions out there now that require social media skills and a certain number of Twitter followers.  Information technology skills are a HUGE asset to college grads these days since many baby boomers don’t even have a clue what a “tweet” is…

In an age where you’re competing with your grandparents, who have been around just a little longer than you, it’s time to break out all the tricks.  They want your media skills—so make them clear in your cover letter and get it out on the table from the get-go.

2.  Highlight Leadership Skills

Mine your college experiences for demonstrations of leadership.  These days, savvy employers want potential leaders, not people who just want to cut a check and skip out the door.  One of the most important cover letter tips is to use any kind of experience you had with clubs, groups, team sports, etc, to send a subconscious message that you are a leader.  To an employer this equals less headache as you can be expected to take initiative instead of waiting for orders…Sir, yes sir.

3.  Translate Past Experiences Into “Professional” Skills

This may be one of the most relevant of cover letter tips for recent grads.  You might not have much actual work experience, but you can still pump up that cover letter by relating your non-professional experiences to the professional world.  Team building, for instance, is one of those skills that really matters to employers, and you can highlight this by discussing team projects in school, communicating your knowledge of how to get results in a team environment.

4.  Highlight Industry Involvement

Employers love a candidate who has extensive knowledge and interest in their industry—i.e. a receptionist who knows a lot about the porn industry rather than a receptionist who just so happens to be applying for a company that produces high-quality porn.  Make sure to mention any memberships in well-recognized industry associations…

Not in any associations?  Sign up for one today and pay the student price!  Then “name drop it” in the cover letter.  There are all sorts of creative way to get industry specific on their asses.

5.  Make Your Skills Relevant

It’s one thing to rattle off about what makes your skills so great, but it’s even better to sit down and weed through your skills determining which can be reframed in order to best relate to the employer’s needs and which should just be left out.  This includes skills, experience, and interests.

Bear in mind these cover letter tips and look at what they’re asking for, then take the time to personalize your cover letter to match.  We’ve got a keeper.

Set yourself apart by incorporating all these cover letter tips.  For recent grads, it can be a little intimidating to go up against seasoned professionals, but with some creative wordsmithing and sitting down to identify what an employer wants, you can still stand out.

What do you think about these tips?  Do you think that they are enough to set a grad’s cover letter ahead of the pack?  Feel free to contribute your own cover letter tips for recent grads by commenting below.

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