For many people, cover letters are not the easiest part of applying for a new position. Surprisingly, even attorneys who have been in the workforce for years still struggle when it comes to creating the perfect cover letter. Simple mistakes can make or break the chances of your resume moving from one stack of resumes and into the “potential candidates” folder. Using these tips can make the process much easier, and make your cover letter stand out from the rest:
Make your cover letter customized. Customizing your cover letter can take your application further by letting the employer know that you are serious about joining their law firm. Sending out a general template cover letter is easy and efficient. However, recruiters and hiring managers can spot these cover letters, and it can send the wrong message to them. Creating a customized cover letter will make a good first impression.
Find concerns and address them. If a law firm is looking to expand its real estate or employment law areas, then address them in your cover letter. Make a clear statement of how you can be an asset to their practice area, and what your goals are for the firm. Also, look for repeated duties in the job description; those are usually the concerns that are most important to that job title and firm at the moment.
Prove yourself. Simply highlighting your strengths in a cover letter will not give you the extra push to move your resume to the next level. Provide stories about your success and accomplishments in your legal career. You can put this information in the second paragraph of your cover letter and an added layer to your skills and strengths.
Be clear & concise. The writing in your cover letter should be a simple, yet professional style. The person who is reading your cover letter should be able to pick out the major key points you want to highlight about yourself and your career quickly. Also, do not overrun your cover letter with unneeded sentences as fillers to make it seem longer. As long as you have the information you want the hiring manager or recruiter to know about you, then the length is not important.
Writing a cover letter should not be a daunting or meticulous task. You should also have a friend or family member edit and catch mistakes you might have skipped over. In the end, going above and beyond in writing your cover letter will make you stand out from the competition, and push you a step further in the hiring process.