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Four Things to Know About Writing a Cover Letter
A résumé consultant will help you fit your 3D self onto a flat sheet of paper in the most flattering way possible. Learn how a good cover letter can complete the picture with Groupon’s tips.
1. Research and then research some more. Knowing the job description is a good place to start, but don’t stop there. Delve a bit deeper into your potential workplace by reading supplemental materials such as Twitter feeds, recent news articles, and company press releases. That way, you’ll be better prepared to describe how you might fit into the company’s culture and address any current challenges they’re facing.
2. Don’t be afraid to drop names. If you’re lucky enough to have a mutual contact with a potential employer, be sure to mention that early in your cover letter, ideally in the first sentence. It puts you at a distinct advantage to reference someone who can easily vouch for your personal and/or professional abilities.
3. Find a formula that works for you—and your field. Companies with a very buttoned-up culture might respond best to a traditional four-paragraph structure, covering the position you want, an overview of your career, a description of your relevant accomplishments, and, finally, your contact information. In more creative fields, a zippier, more conversational approach could be called for. Either way, try not to sound like a cover-letter-generating robot. This is your chance to show off a bit of personality before the interview; a quick anecdote that illuminates a key aspect of how you work could be quite welcome.
4. Keep it concise. This may be the one area where hiring managers across the board agree. A few paragraphs is usually sufficient, and the whole letter should fit onto one page. Your cover letter is just one piece of the job-application package—let it complement your résumé, not rehash it in paragraph form. For the same reason, it’s not the place for salary requirements or references.