The main concept behind a cover letter is to tell a job, internship, academic program (really anything you’re applying for that requires a cover letter) why, specifically, you’re the right fit for them.
In a job posting, there will usually be a list of characteristics that they are looking for in candidates, such as punctual, works well in a team, problem-solving skills, you get the idea! Depending on what the company values, or what the company culture is (you can find this on their website, under an “our values” section or a “company culture” section.
If you can’t find this on their website, do your research! those characteristics can change. It’s important not only to know what they are looking for in a candidate but to familiarize yourself with the company itself.
When writing a cover letter, have an introduction, a body that pinpoints 2-3 characteristics, and a closing sentence. In the introduction, express your enthusiasm for applying for the position, and introduce your work experience. For example:
“It’s with great enthusiasm that I am expressing my interest in (insert job title.) In my time as a (insert previous job role/roles) I learned (insert skills relevant to what you are applying for.) I believe I am the ideal candidate for this position because…”
In the body, focus on 2-3 things that the employer is looking for in that job position. While there will be many things you could write about, pick whatever you think you offer the most of as a candidate. When writing on each topic, elaborate how, in specifics, you accomplished them.
“I exhibited excellent teamwork skills at (insert old employer here) when I was asked to oversee a project with a strict deadline and a quick turnaround.”
This shows that you have evidence to support your claim. It gives you the opportunity to show how experienced you are and sometimes even how much work you’re willing to put into the job or program.
For the conclusion, keep it short and simple. Be polite and thank them for their time. One of the best phrases to use is:
“Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to speaking with you about the opportunity to work with your team.”
All things considered, you don’t want to say too much or too little. It can be difficult to find the right balance and still be able to present yourself on paper as the amazing employee you know you are. You have one page to make a good first impression! Focus on what is most import to your prospective employer and what is most important to you. When you find common values, find a way to incorporate your experience into what they are looking for. You are trying to give the best possible impression on paper, so make it count!
If you are applying to a foreing institution, it may be a good idea to write them in their language. This will tell them that you are willing to adapt to the organization’s culture.
The tips above will work too, no matter the language. For example, in order to research the organization before writing, in Spanish see “nuestros valores” or “la cultura de la empresa.”
Appearance is also key, so don’t be caught with simple grammar and spelling mistakes! If you need a Spanish proof reading service, I’m here to help.
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