A cover letter is an important tool in your job hunt. While a resume lists your education, experience and skills, it may not convey if you are a good fit for the law firm or organization. That’s where your cover letter comes in–it helps the employer get a full picture of you, but it’s important to get it right!
1. Tailor each cover letter to the firm or organization for the specific position you want. Form letters (yes, employers can usually detect if it is a form letter) may eliminate you from consideration.
2. Address your letter to the hiring partner or other designated person. If you don’t know who that is–find out by contacting the firm. Never, ever write “to whom it may concern”.
3. Sell yourself. This is your chance to let the firm know YOU are the right person for the job.
4. It can be used as an opportunity to explain gaps in your employment, a return to school, staying home to raise a family or illness.
5. Research the firm and possibly work in details like referencing a published case tried by the firm to give yourself an edge. Showing you’ve done your homework will show that you are enthusiastic about this position.
6. Check it and then double check. Ensure there are no mistakes, whether they be spelling, grammatical, or factual, and make sure you’ve signed the letter.
7. Use the right format. If you have questions in this regard, please consult the Career Services Handbook in the Application Materials section, or make an appointment with one of our counselors through Symplicity.