5 High-Impact Cover Letter Tips For Recent Grads

LANDON LONG No Comments;

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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10 Cover Letter Tips: Making Yourself Irresistible

LANDON LONG 31 Comments;

Most employers could go their whole lives without reading another resume if it was up to them, so that’s when truly helpful cover letter tips come in handy.  If they are not in a hurry to hire, the last thing they want to do with their time is pick through anonymous resumes.  A cover letter gives you a quick chance to tell them why they should take a closer look at you.

Here are 10 cover letter tips to keep your resume from ending up in the trash can.

Before reading these cover letter tips, make sure you open that mind of yours and take note.

1.  If you’ve got connections, use them.

Name-dropping works.  For one, an employer feels a subconscious obligation to give you a solid chance if you have a mutual contact.  In fact, they will probably have to find a good reason not to hire you if it might affect their social life or business.  Also, human beings are ethnocentric creatures — which means they’re hesitant to let anyone into their world that they don’t know.  This is one of the oldest cover letter tips ever used, but it still works.   Establish a connection and they’re more likely to take a chance.

2.  Never address “To Whom it May Concern.”

This is one of the cover letter tips you need to keep at the forefront of your mind.  Even if they know you don’t know them, saying their name gets their attention, as if the letter is truly to them.  It makes it more personal.  Besides, if you don’t have the brains to research a name, they don’t want you.  It shows you care about the position and are willing to do some homework.  Otherwise you’re like that shameless spammer on Facebook who is always promoting his band that no one likes—“Be my friend!  Be my friend!”  No one likes that guy, so don’t act like him.

3.  Keep it Conversational.

Keeping the cover letter conversational is one of the best cover letter tips out there.  Show some personality and the reader is less likely to crumple it up and shoot a basket.  This type of language makes people feel like you have rapport even if you’ve never met.

4.  Brag about yourself.

While your dedication to telling the world how awesome you are hasn’t scored you many friends in the past, here is your chance to put it out there without everyone leaving the room talking about what a douche bag your are.  Finally.  Tell them why you’re the man or woman for the job.  Having the confidence to state it straight up sends the signal that you really are qualified.

The more specific, tangible, and measurable the better because it tells them you’re not just winging it.

5.  Always talk about your achievements.cover letter tips

They don’t just want another employee—they want the best, and achievements mark you as a high-value individual.  Use bullet points to cover more space, creating the illusion there is more information than there actually is.  Most cover letter tips will tell you not to list your accomplishments, but this is where you want to brag away.

6.  Don’t just parrot your resume.

Your cover letter, though short and simple, is an asset that will pave the way for your future income, and a lot of prospective employees make the mistake of writing exactly what is on the resume.  Don’t do this—it shows a lack of creativity.  Your cover letter should expand and serve as a bridge to your resume.  Since it’s the first thing they see, make it count.  This goes back to the previous point- it’s one of the crucial cover letter tips.  Brag and talk about how great you are but don’t just summarize your resume.

7.  Don’t come across as a Harvard prude, even if you are one.

Professionalism is nice, but no one wants to work with a pompous ass.  If that’s not how you talk on a daily basis, tone it down.  If that is how you talk, you’ve got bigger problems than I can solve.  Write like a kindergartner.  Okay, I don’t mean write sentences like “Jane likes jobs.  Jane wants money.”  I mean be clear and simple, and sound out your words while you write to make sure they aren’t too sophisticated.  And definitely don’t talk about how this is one of the awesome cover letter tips you found here.  You don’t have to spill the beans like a kindergartener would either, just be clear, concise and readable.

8.  Email letters should be short and sweet, like a one-night stand.

Long emails waste time that could be better spent on Facebook.  Once they open your resume they’ve decided to invest some time in you, so they are psychologically prepared for more information.  Einstein once said, “Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler.”  Anything more will make you seem like a possible future headache.

9.  Attack them from all angles.

If you don’t have submission guidelines, send the resume as an attachment and an email.  Then point it out.  “I’m such a great fella I sent this as an email AND an attachment.”  The message is you are the type of person who will make their life easier.

10.  The most crucial of the cover letter tips- Don’t be weak.

“My professional resume is included if you would like to look at it.”   Subconsciously, you just told them you aren’t even sure if your resume is worth their time.  Grow a pair.  Say something direct and casual like, “As you can see in my resume, I’ve worked in the midget porn industry for forty-three years.”  EXPECT them to read it, and they are much more likely to do so.  Ok, so that actual line is not one of the cover letter tips you should utilize, but you get what I mean.


To learn more about how to get an "unfair advantage" over your competitors, grab a FREE copy of my new resume course that can help you succeed where other job seekers have failed. Click here to discover my FREE, newly released Resume Rebel video series.