Not Your Average Cover Letter
“The grandest seduction of all is the myth that doing everything better gets us where we want to be. It gets us somewhere, certainly, but not anywhere worth being.”
― Shauna Niequist
As my journey as an intern comes to a close, my human nature keeps leaping to the next big thing. I have to remind myself daily that it is not the end result I should be longing for, but it is the journey that gets me there. In the midst of updating my resume, writing countless cover letters and searching for a job in a city that is unfamiliar, I find myself overwhelmed. I let the pressures of landing a “perfect job” suffocate me until I’ve completely lost sight of the details that make my story worthwhile.
It wasn’t until my 80-year-old grandmother, who is battling Alzheimer’s, led me outside of her assisted living home, looked at the flowers that draped over the brick wall and said, “Darling, we all need to stop and taste the flowers.” Although her brain messed up the words of the phrase, her mind was in the right place and that was one step ahead of me. It was in that moment I realized the job search was much more than the end result, and I desperately needed to “stop and smell the roses.”
Writing resumes and cover letters went from something I dreaded after work to a time I looked forward to. I see them as a way to express my goals and passions while telling my story, instead of just a way to display my work experience and flaunt my talents. This change in perspective has given me the freedom to release the pressure and enjoy the journey.
Below are a few tips that have made all the difference in my writing.
- Make sure your resume highlights areas that your prospective employer would find attractive.
- For example, I am applying for a position at a fashion industry that strives to make a social impact, so I am highlighting community, development, fashion and my experience with the Latino culture.
- Let your resume tell the facts and your cover letter tell the story. For example, my resume shows my goal, my education and my work experience. My cover letter is where I tell my story of how I got to where I am today and how those experiences have led me to the organization to which I am applying.
- Let your personal mission be known. Let the company know what all the experiences on your resume say about who you are, where you want to go and why you want to be a part of the organization.
Your journey might be long but the details matter and that’s what makes up your story and a not-so-average cover letter.