[Falling Into Success: Post #1] How to Write a Cover Letter

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October 20, 2014 by Lainey

Ah, the infamous cover letter. Too often, you find the perfect job posting, and, better yet, you fit all the qualifications they’re looking for! You’ve polished up your resume and can defend every single experience you’ve penned down. But just as you click on “Next” to attach your resume, something like this pops up (*HINT: Scroll down for tips to write your cover letters!*):

OCR cover letter request example

Peer Coach Cover Letter Tips (Non-Comprehensive Edition):

1. Tell a story, don’t give a recital. Recruiters already have a copy of your resume; they don’t need another. Employers are looking for students with:

  • the right combination of soft skills not detailed in your resume,
  • the personality to fit in with the company culture,
  • the types of technical skills that make you a valuable asset, and
  • the ability to express yourself via written medium.

Be genuine and tell them what you love or don’t love; what you liked and didn’t like about your past/current jobs; and what gets you moving or makes you stagnant when working on a project.

2. Interview past and current employees for their side of the story. The quickest way to discover whether you have the right personality for the job is to interview past and current employees. Some questions to ask might be:

  • What traits/skills do great employees have/exhibit?
  • What types of people tend to thrive in this company’s environment?
  • What does a typical week/month look like for someone in the [XYZ position]?

**TIP: Join the Texas BBA Career Services LinkedIn group to get easy access to alumni and other industry professionals interested in hiring McCombs students!

3. Be proud of your voice. Check out our cover letter templates to get started; however make sure to personalize your cover letter. Employers like personalities (not robots!) and the best way to show off your personality is via a cover letter. Cover letters are opportunities, not hurdles!

4. Use their terminology (correctly). Speak their language, and they’ll be more likely to respond! Make a copy of the job description and see what terms they use to describe key job duties and required soft skills. And now for the easy part: place and replace those terms wherever it makes sense in your cover letter!


Come see your Peer Coaches in CBA 2.116 for additional help with cover letters and make an appointment with a Career Coach to discuss career options and job offers! And remember to apply to available jobs via OCR – deadlines are approaching; look out for our “Upcoming OCR Deadlines by Major!” blog each week!

Thanks for reading! This post was brought to you by: FallingIntoSuccessLogo

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