As you sit down to create the first draft of your introductory letter to potential employers, you’ll need to structure this document around a very specific purpose—convincing employers to hire you. Recognise that you’ll increase the distance to that goal each time you wander off topic, overlook an important argument, or bury a vital statement somewhere in the middle of the page when it should actually appear in the first sentence. As you write, make sure each of these three statements finds a prominent place in your letter—don’t let these vital points be lost or omitted from your final draft.
- First, what do you see yourself doing for this company? If the job post describes the nature of the position in the first line, repeat and reflect that description in the first line of your letter. For example, if the post requests “a media and communications expert to shape internal and external messages for QualCo”, use your first sentence to demonstrate that you’re a media and communications expert and you’d like an opportunity to develop communications for QualCo.
- What elements of your education and work history indicate that you’ll find success in this job? If you have every qualification the employers request, say so directly in your letter. If you have a few additional credentials to your credit, or experiences in your work history that will further support your success, state this as well.
- Finally, and most importantly, what can you bring to this job that no other candidate can? In other words, if there are twenty other applicants for this position, what can you bring to the table that they can’t offer? Think carefully. Your work ethic, enthusiasm, basic degree, minimum required years of experience, fiery ambition and local address won’t set you apart. What else do you have, what else do you know, and what else have you done that no other applicant can claim?