Writing a Not So Desperate Cover Letter

By Dominique Shields

There’s a job you want to apply for. It could be your dream job, or a job you need to pay for college. You want this job. You need this job. But before you think about tailoring your resume, you have to have a cover letter. And not just any cover letter, but the cover letter that will seal the deal for your career future; that will ultimately lead you to fulfill your destiny as the next greatest ruler of the organization. Not really, but it will help you get the job you want - if you do it right. Here’s how:

● Engage them with a story about yourself.

Let it be a good story too. When I say good, I mean happy. Don’t go into a sob story about how you need the job because you can’t pay for lunch and keep gas in your car, or bus fare, to even make it to work. Keep it positive. For example, write about your first time you realized you enjoyed writing if you’re applying to be a journalist.

● Fit the letter to the job you’re going for.

If you already have a cover letter, make sure you make changes that fit the job description you want. Having a universal cover letter isn’t going to be good enough.

● Showcase extracurricular activities that are relevant.

No hiring manager wants to know that you have too much time on your hands. You don’t want them to think that you are just sitting around all day. Show them you have drive and that you’re productive with your 24 hours.

● Dial back the eagerness.

How embarrassing, or sad, would it be to find out that you were doing the most in your cover letter? Or you get offered a lower salary because the hiring manager can see how desperate you are? Think about being subtle in your approach. Let it be known that you chose to apply for the job, but it isn’t a do-or-die situation.

● Exaggeration is not key.

Please try to have a minimum amount of exaggerated stories in your cover letter. Hiring managers can see through the generic, boring cover letters, and they can definitely see through the glitter and dazzling.

Hopefully, these tips helped and good luck with your cover letter! Need further help on what your resume should even look like? Click here for our resume resource in our Financial Toolkit issue!