When you apply for a job or internship online, there’s usually a box that asks for your cover letter (even if there’s not, most employers still ask for you to submit one). You might be tempted to ignore the box and just let your résumé speak for itself, but it’s important to give your potential employer as much information as possible about yourself in a super brief, but impactful manner.
Amanda Frame / Senior Staff Designer
For the middle paragraphs (part 4 above), you can discuss past internships, your hard and soft skills, extracurriculars—any detailed information that someone might not be able to find in your résumé. Show that you’ve done research on the company by discussing how their interests and mission align with your skills and goals.
The purpose of your cover letter is to add another level of information that will make the company more likely to hire you. Make sure you research the employer and the position so you can highlight your skills and how you could contribute to the company. And of course, the golden rule of job hunting: Don’t just copy-paste a letter for every company—they can tell.
Victoria Yang is a SEAS first-year and Spectrum staff writer. She usually ignores the cover letter box, which might explain why she’s jobless. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org