Cover Letters: Why They’re Useful and How To Read Between the Lines

When it comes to internships, placements, and graduate jobs, there’s one thing that’s probably never going to go away: the cover letter. Whether you submit it digitally or in old-fashioned paper form, the cover letter is a chance to introduce yourself, to sell your skills, and to make your resume stand out from the hundreds and hundreds of people competing for the same positions. But how do you use insights of what people see in a letter to craft your own?

For starters, focus on the exact requirements of the application process and letter details. If they ask you a question that you need to answer, make sure you do it—don’t skip over it, thinking that it won’t matter. It does, and it’s a “test” of sorts to see if you’re paying attention. And avoid the impulse to go on and on with your words: Shorter is better.

What else do you need to know? This graphic can help.

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