Cover Letter Tips!

Certain words seem to show up in all cover letters.  If you want to make your cover letters to stand out, delete these words and rephrase.

1.  Hope–The firm to which you are applying wants to know about your skills and abilities, not what you are hoping will happen.  Instead of “I hope to be able to contribute my skills to your firm”, switch it up to “I look forward to speaking with you about my qualifications”.

2.  Hone–I am guilty of this.  But it admittedly is overused.  Intead of “during my internship I honed my skills”, write how your experience “developed” or “sharpened” your skills, or how your “research culminated in a report to your supervising attorney which was used during trial”.  Stated this way, there is no doubt of your abilities.

3.  Drawn–You can be drawn to a person, but a firm wants to know that you are a match for the type of work they are producing and that your mindset is similar to theirs, not that you are drawn to their firm for their reputation or location.

4.  Feel–Notice the difference:  I feel the relationship management skills I built while working at the Public Defender’s Office are a match for The Jones Firm’s commitment to outstanding client relationships.  OR  The relationship management skills I built while working at the Public Defender’s Office are a match for The Jones Firm’s commitment to outstanding client relationships.  The second example is more powerful and creative and will be more apt to get your cover letter noticed. 

Write strongly and with conviction and you will give yourself an edge.