So, you’re in the final stages of writing your cover letter? Nice work! Here are some checks that you can make before you send it off.
1. Uncertainty. Scan for phrases like “I feel that”, “I think”, “I began to realise” and consider if they make you sound unsure. Same goes for “I was able to take this module”. Instead, how about “I took this module”? It sounds more direct and confident.
2. Missing opportunities for results. You might have written “I ran social media to increase the target market” or “I developed my time management skills to meet deadlines”. However, did you increase the target market? Did you manage to meet your deadlines? If so, say that! Show them your skills were useful and you achieved your goals.
3. Repetition. This is a really common one! Refrain from repeating skills. For instance, if you mention ‘communication’ a lot, try being more specific. For example, you could break it down into ‘presenting’ or ‘liaising’. Check that you haven’t stated that you improved your communication over and over again. It sounds generic and doesn’t say much about your capabilities.
4. Over-describing. It’s easy to slip into writing about the structure of your course or detailing an assignment brief. Instead, make it more about you so if you’re saying things like “this module teaches us”, say “I learnt”. The added bonus here is that it cuts down on words!
5. Paragraphs that trail off… sometimes a quick concluding sentence is all it needs. You could restate your motivation or make a link between what you’re telling them and how it will benefit them.
I hope that these five fixes help you create a final draft that you’re happy with. Saying that, keep in mind that you don’t have to be 100% satisfied with what you have written. Despite what your Google search will tell you, there is no “perfect” cover letter. Just do the best you can!