Tag Archives: jobs

How to Survive Your Next Cover Letter Experience

It’s cover letter season. Most of us, if we haven’t already, are scrambling around to secure an internship or job for the summer, and unfortunately, this means that all of our (abundance of) free time is spent writing (or avoiding) cover letters. To help you with your job or internship search, here are a few tips to make the dreaded cover letter writing process a little less painful.

  • Do your research. Before writing any cover letter, be sure to check out the company’s website, social media pages, and any other relevant sources. Take notes on the company’s main functions, values, and beliefs. Look back at your notes when you’re done. What does this company want in an employee? Incorporate this information into your cover letter and argue that you are the best fit for their company. Hiring managers will be impressed by your knowledge of the company, and this makes you stand out among other candidates.
  • Find a real person to address your letter to. Search LinkedIn or the company’s website to find the name of a human resources manager or recruiter. Addressing your letter to one of these people is more personal than addressing it to the hiring manager or hiring committee. It also shows that you’ve done your research.
  • Pull out key words from the job posting and integrate them into your letter. I like to print out job ads, pull out my favorite colorful pen, and then scribble all over the ad, circling words and phrases that describe traits and skills that I have. Pointing out the specific ways I fit the job description helps me organize my professional experience and write about it in a way that fits the job I’m applying for. Including key phrases from the job posting in your cover letter shows that you’ve paid careful attention to the position’s duties and roles within the organization.
  • Write a new cover letter for every job. Companies will recognize a cookie cutter cover letter right when they see it. Instead, customize your letter to fit the position and company you’re applying for. Mention specific information about their company and the position. This shows hiring managers that you’ve put in the time and effort to write a cover letter catered directly to their needs.

These suggestions cover only the tip of the iceberg. For more advice, visit careernetwork.msu.edu. And don’t forget—we’re always available to help at the Writing Center!

From The Chronicle of Higher Ed: Cover Letters Can Go Beyond One Page

 

 

This time of year many of us are thinking about the “rest” of our lives and getting to the next step. An important piece in the process is The Cover Letter. If you are applying for jobs in academia, the cover letter is an entirely different beast. It is totally fine to go past one page, but keep to the point. Make sure that everything you say truly adds value to the letter. Check out this An excellent guide to applying for academic positions is at The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Career Gallery at the Breslin Center

MSU Career Gallery 2012 logo

Time to pull out the resume. MSU’s annual Career Gallery is coming October 3rd and 4th.  They have over 250, yes I did say 250, employers coming.  It is so big only the Breslin Center could hold it.  The time is 2-6 pm.  On Wednesday the focus is Science, Engineering and Technology careers; on Thursday it is Business majors.  Even if you are not in the job market yet, it is a great idea to stop over and see what employers are looking for!

Remember, at The Writing Center we can help with cover letters, resumes and CVs. Many students come to the Business Communication Center (BCC) satellite to work on preparing those important documents for both jobs and internships.  Make an appointment soon to come and visit us.