Cover Letters

Cover Letters

If your applying for a teen job and you don’t have a cover letter forget about your resume. We live in the information age, time is money and there is guaranteed to be many applicants that are more qualified and experienced than you. Potential employers don’t have the time or the desire to sift through needless amounts of information. The first impression you give may be the last if you don’t get the cover letter right. So what exactly is the deal with a cover letter and why are they so important? Teen jobs are not about your qualifications or experience.

Chances are you are not qualified or experienced but you do have a few things going for you. The cover letter is your first and could be your only chance to let potential employers know what you do have going for you and what you can offer them.

The idea of a cover letter is to sell yourself, let your potential employers know what your about, why you want to work for them and what you can offer that the other 100 applicants can’t. This is an introduction to further more detailed information in your resume. It will give your employer an instant impression whether that impression is good or bad is entirely up to you.

The first impression: Teen Jobs

  • Keep it Simple – This needs to be a concise, informative piece of writing, do not ramble. Be clear and keep it brief no more than a page, remember time is money for your potentials. Give them only relevant information.
  • Make it Personal – As you will have discovered if you are researching cover letters there are numerous standardized template options. These may be helpful to others but for the teen job seeker it is important to address your employers personally. Let them know that you understand the job you are applying for and that you have researched the company. Show them that you mean business by highlighting that you have taken the time to make each application personal to the job your applying for.
  • Sell yourself – This is a prime opportunity to distinguish your self from the other applicants. Your cover letter should include a few brief succinct sentences or bullet points on why your skills would meet the needs of the job you are applying for. Also what specific skills you do have that are a match with the job description.

Teen job seekers should take every opportunity to show their qualities, to grab the attention of the employer and to separate themselves from other applicants. An effectively written cover letter gives you a chance to present yourself in a positive way. Your cover letter will give readers insight into your background, qualifications, experience and personality. It will indicate your level of professionalism and attention to detail. It will also show your potential employer how you communicate.

Communicate effectively:

  • Attention to Detail – This is such a fundamentally important factor in your success or failure. Anything that you are sending on to a potential employer should be checked, rechecked and checked again. Ask a parent, friend or teacher to check it for you too. There is no excuse for spelling mistakes and errors. This will have a direct impact on your readers so take the time to get it right and check it over one last time.
  • Details, Details – Any information you are using about there business should be correct, this is simply things like the spelling of names of people or companies. Any information pertaining to the company should be double checked for accuracy.
  • Writing – Keep it simple and informative but grab the attention of your reader with a few key ‘buzz’ words. These are words such as professional, effective, quality, results, opportunity, proven, ability, motivation. These are words that are high impact and should draw attention to your cover letter as well as making it a more enjoyable read.
  • Layout – Keep paragraphs short, use bullet points to highlight important information and keep it to one page only. Give yourself the best opportunity to be considered by making the information in your cover letter easy to read.

Now that you have done your homework it is time to start putting together the letter. It is a good idea to brainstorm a little and write down any ideas you have for the letter. Also write down the information you want to set forth. This will be information regarding how you found out about the job, why you are interested in it, what relevant qualifications and experience you have as well as what the intent of the letter is.

Getting it together: Teen Jobs

  • Introduction – Briefly state who you are and how you found out about the job.
  • Motivation – Explain why you are pursuing the job and what interests you about the opportunity.
  • Selling yourself – Give them information about your qualifications/experience and show how they will benefit their company. List what you can do for them in the position you are going for. Explain why you feel your qualifications/experience make you a match for their job description.
  • Closing – Closing statements should thank the employer for their time and consideration. You should also let them know you are going to follow up on the application. Your follow up should be to ensure they received your resume and to ask if they require any further information in the selection process. This might just tip the odds in your favour as it demonstrates professionalism and persistence; two qualities highly sought after in the teen job industry.
  • More Details – Don’t forget to give your contact details phone and email.

Image: Flickr-Flazingo Photos

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