As I said in my recent post, summer break is a good time to apply for internships if you want to get some experience before you graduate. Today, I will give you some tips that will help you to write an effective cover letter and therefore to secure an interview. If you follow these simple rules, I am sure that you will manage to get to the next stage.
1. Examine the job advert, job description and person specification
You shouldn’t apply for a job without reading carefully what the company expects from a candidate. Even though the job advert says ‘social media intern’ and you think that you have relevant experience, it doesn’t necessarily mean that in your cover letter you should write about everything you think that might be important when applying for a position. You need to read what the company requires from the applicant and then think about if you have similar experience or skills. The best thing to do is to print a job description and a person specification or write it down on paper and look at it while writing your cover letter. Remember that the employer will receive lots of applications and probably the main thing that they’ll be checking is if you tick all the boxes.
2. Do some research
One of the most important steps before you start writing your cover letter is to do some research about the place where you are applying to. You can check the website & social media of the company and find out about their main goals and what they support. If you find some interesting facts you like about the company, you can use them in your cover letter to show that you are a serious candidate. However, you shouldn’t just mention the fact just to mention it (it also applies to writing about your skills and experience, you always need to give some examples of how you gained that skill). You should also write why you like that fact. For example, many companies support good causes. If you do some voluntary work too, it would be a good thing to mention it and emphasize that you and the company have more things in common. Maybe all of this sounds obvious, but many people think it is not that important or they forget about it!
3. Are you sure you don’t have the skills they require?
Sometimes, when reading a person specification, it may seem like you don’t have a skill or experience that they want you to have. However, we shouldn’t give up so easily. While reading a job description at first, I always find one or two skills I think I don’t have, because it doesn’t seem like I could ever gain them from any previous work. That’s why it’s worth to think about your university or your hobbies too! I’ll give you a simple example. If the company is looking for someone that can work good in a team or is well-organised, you can mention about your work that you do at the university. Maybe it’s not related to ‘real work’, but the skills that you gain at the university are also relevant. You could mention group projects you’ve done with your friends so far or write that you always submit your assignments before the deadline (if you do :P) what could mean that you are well-organised.
4. Check your spelling and grammar.
I always use a website like grammarly.com to check if I have any errors. A free version of this app will help you with some simple mistakes that you might have.
Hope this helps!
By Magdalena Stopa