How to… A cover letter

How to… A cover letter

By Ilona Neve

Once you have found that perfect internship and are ready to apply for the position, you have to make sure that your application package is just as perfect. That package definitely includes your resume and a cover letter. But how do you write that cover letter? Here are 5 tips that will help you.

What is a cover letter?

Let me start by explaining what a cover letter is exactly. A cover letter is a single-page letter, with the purpose to convince the company that you are the perfect candidate for the position. The goal of the letter is to lead the reader to your resume. So typically, you should add a unique cover letter for each job application.

Ready to write yours? Then here are the tips:

1. Make it specific for the company

Your cover letter should be original, fitting to the job you are applying for. This means that each cover letter should be written especially for every job application (even though your resume might not have changed). It might seem like a lot of work at first, however, a cover letter is your first chance to convince the reader that you are the perfect candidate, so make sure that you invest your time in making it fit the company.

2. Keep it short

It is easy to tell (and write) more than necessary when you are really enthusiastic about something. However, make sure that you only write down information that is actually relevant for this particular job. This can be relevant experiences or trainings you had. Once the company reads your amazing letter, they will read any additional information in your resume.

3. Make it visually appealing

This does not mean that you have to design it all in InDesign or Canva (of course, feel free to do so), but at least make sure that you follow the correct steps in how to write a formal letter. This includes your contact details, the contact details of the person you are addressing, the date, an introduction, body and a call to action. If you are not sure what a formal letter looks like, just look for any examples on the Internet.

4. Write in the style of the company

Tone of voice is important in everything you write since it is a way of connecting to your audience. The tone of voice in your cover letter adds to your first impression. Try to mimic the style of how the company communicates via its website or LinkedIn for example. In this way, the company will also know that you did your research (bonus point).

5. Finish with a call to action

What was already addressed in the third point, make sure to end your letter with a call to action. With a strong closing, you let the reader know that they can contact you, and at the same time such a closing makes sure that you come across as a determined and confidant applicant.

Hopefully, these tips will help you a bit more with your application. And if you have not found your ideal job yet, at the AIESEC opportunity portal there are tons of internships that will help you kickstart your career.


This post was written by AIESEC in the Netherlands. We offer international voluntary projects and professional internships with the aim of developing leadership in youth. 

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