While your resume and professional experience may impress a potential employer, your cover letter is a way for you to set yourself apart from the competition with a strong sample of your written work. A cover letter should ideally be a one-page document that highlights who you are, what you’re looking for and what drew you to the employer. Often in the temporary counsel space, the turn around time between application and a phone screening is quick. Because of this, it’s understandable that you may share the “informational letter” between your phone screen and your in-person meeting, as opposed to during your application, as is traditional with a cover letter. Whether positioned as a cover letter or an informational letter, check out some of our top tips below to make you the standout choice for any company.
- Grammar. Grammar. Grammar
It’s essential to take the time to ensure that the spelling, punctuation and grammar in your cover letter are perfect. Read over it a few times. Have someone else read over it a few more times. Go through the page with a fine-tooth comb to make sure you aren’t making silly spelling errors or obvious grammatical mistakes. It seems like a small thing, but a handful of errors make it appear that you don’t care enough to read through what you are sending to a potential employer or that your attention to detail is lacking.
- Think Outside the Box.
Don’t be afraid to be a little creative with your cover letter. Research the company you’re applying to and mention something that you like about the company culture. Or test a whole new medium for “writing” your cover letter. In the temporary lawyer space, interviews are often done quickly to fill an immediate need, so you don’t always get the necessary facetime you’d like with a potential employer. Using a short video as your cover letter can provide a clearer picture of your personality that might not come across in a resume or a phone interview.
- Don’t Rehash Your Resume.
While it’s important to detail why you’d be a good fit for the position, a cover letter is supposed to be an additional document in support of your resume, not a replica. Focus on how your experience applies to the role you’re seeking, rather than just repeating the basics that are included on your resume.
- Give Insight into Who You Are as An Employee.
Instead of telling a hiring manger that you are an organized and hard-working person, give examples of the ways you demonstrate these qualities in a real-life setting. Showing, not telling, allows your voice and personality to complement your experience in ways a resume cannot. That being said, while you want your individuality to shine through, it’s important to remember this is a professional document and the language you use should reflect that.
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be on your way to a well-crafted and professional cover letter. At Assigned Counsel, our recruiting attorneys work tirelessly to help you highlight the qualities that make you the best fit for a client. What do you think are other important details to include in a cover letter? Let us know below in the comments. Be on the lookout for the final blog in our job hunt series: Top Interview Tips.