Nerdify Reviews 7 Tips for Students on How to Write a Cover Letter

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Nerdify Reviews 7 Tips for Students on How to Write a Cover Letter
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As annoying as they can be to write, cover letters are a common part of many application processes. Whether it’s for a job, college, or academic program, knowing how to write a clean, quick, professional cover letter can make a big difference in the application process.

1. Perform research

No matter the reason for the cover letter, researching who will actually read it is an important first step. Knowing what the company, college, or program is about and their beliefs will help add more detailed touches to a cover letter. These will help the letter stand out from more generic entries.

That doesn’t necessarily mean a person will be directly addressed in a cover letter. However, finding actual people to reference or mention in the letter demonstrates not only research but accurately performed research. Such a vital asset in an academic will not go unnoticed by the reader of the letter.

2. Remember Keywords

That said, as annoying as it is, a lot of cover letters are reviewed by algorithm-based AI. This is less likely when applying to an academic program, but the people reviewing such letters receive thousands upon thousands of them. They likely lack the time to review every single one carefully.

That’s why keywords can help make a difference. Whether these words are reviewed by a computer or a person skimming the letter, they can make a big difference. Sites like Reddit are especially helpful for finding the best keywords to optimize a cover letter.

At the simplest, making use of important words and wordings in the application can make for a great start. Jobs that point out what an “ideal candidate” can provide or has experience in or an academic candidate that has proven “extensive knowledge in the following” and the like are just the most common examples seen in applications.

3. Be direct and confident

Now that it’s time to actually write the cover letter, make sure to be direct and to the point. Fancy words and long-winded sentences may look impressive, but they are not ideal for someone trying sell themselves on the merits of their abilities, a lot of meaningless words are just that; cheap talk to hype up the candidate regardless of their actual abilities and talent.

4. Stay professional

Unless the requirements for the cover letter say otherwise, a concise, professional tone and wording will go a long way to showcasing that this is the cover letter that leads the reader to the ideal candidate. A cover letter is basically a hype man, even if the wording and styling are written in a more formal manner.

At the Nerdify Reviews blog, you can find useful information on how to write in a more formal style, but the general gist is to avoid contractions and keep a respectful distance from the reader.

5. Seek advice

No matter how often someone reviews something, they are going to miss content fresh eyes will easily see. Ideally, having someone to review the cover letter will help a lot to fine-tune the wording and content.

In an academic setting, that means consulting a department counselor or even a student who previously attended or is attending. For jobs, someone in the field can provide vital insight. Going to sites like Reddit can help connect with such experienced individuals.

6. Use firm information

Algorithms and academics love numbers. Making use of them in the cover letter to showcase results and experience demonstrate concrete support of the claims made within the cover letter.

That said, throwing numbers around without purpose and just for the sake of including them reveals lack of actual evidence and more bravado and empty words. Numbers need to be backed up with results and, as with any cover letter, must be direct and to the point.

7. Make use of action words

Passive voice can be hard to avoid, as the previous sentence indicated. A strong cover letter, though, will try to avoid passive voice and make use of action and assertive wording to show not just confidence, but proven confidence.

Again, adding such words just to include them in the letter will make the candidate look weak and attempting to talk a big game with nothing to back up their claims, keep the action direct and relevant. Sources like Reddit reviews can help with finding the right words for just about any situation.

In Conclusion

Cover letters are not, generally, fun to write. They are often ignored or overlooked, and yet, they are still an important part of the application process. That means they need to be dealt with professionally and properly. Simply throwing some words together to appease an application requirement will not draw the reader to their ideal candidate.

Nerdify Reviews experts say that a strong cover letter is written with proven confidence, direct language, and content relevant to the application in question. Researching what to write about and who will be involved in the process can help a cover letter stand out, as can keywords to improve readability.

Cover letters do take time and effort to write, but, when completed, can make the difference between an ignored application and an accepted candidate.