What’s in Your Cover Letter?

  With New York’s phased re-openings underway, many of you may be starting to think about applying to jobs. With those applications however, employers may ask that you write a cover letter. This is a great time for you to showcase what you have learned or been doing during the pandemic. You can highlight new certificates obtained, showcase a new language that you became more proficient in, or highlight new software that you learned. If you were outside volunteering, that is also a great thing to showcase in your cover letter. You will need to customize your cover letter for each position you apply to, so it is important you know how to make it a good one. Here are three tips to think about when writing about your new skill sets in your cover letter.

  • Don’t undersell yourself. The pandemic shutdown was not within any of our control, so be sure to speak positively of your time spent learning something new or doing something out of your normal routine. What should shine through is your productivity and innovation with the time you had being at home.
  • Give your new skills purpose. After all, you took the time to learn it or do it. Be sure to showcase how your new skills will be an asset to the organization. For example, if you learned a new software program or how to manipulate an excel spreadsheet, tell the employer why those skills are particularly valuable to their organization and the position in which you are applying.
  • Craft a quality cover letter. Now that you have these new items to add, do not get caught with a poorly written cover letter. The content may be good, and you may have a lot to offer as a candidate, but if an employer has a difficult time understanding what you have written because of a poorly structured letter or one riddled with grammatical errors, all of that good stuff gets lost. Use CPD to get your cover letter in good shape! Schedule an appointment with a career coach to have your cover letter reviewed. We also have resources available on our website 24/7 just for you. Check out CPD resources here: https://career.mercy.edu/channels/write-a-resume-cover-letter/ and to be connected with a coach, email CPD@Mercy.edu.
By Joi Sampson
Joi Sampson Associate Director of Career and Professional Development Joi Sampson