Researching and Writing

COVER LETTER

PERFECTING YOUR COVER LETTER

Use these tips to create an exceptional cover letter

Your cover letter is the first 'work output' that a firm will have from you. A well-executed cover letter proves that you have strong written communication skills, that you are succinct, and that you clearly articulate ideas and thoughts. A quality cover letter often requires multiple rounds of edits. Luckily, as you write more of them, they become easier to do. While it is okay to leverage the structure and format of a cover letter, do not fall into the trap of copying and pasting them across applications. Not only is that trick easy to spot, but it also leads to embarrassing mistakes such as addressing the wrong person or company.

Here are some rules to make a strong cover letter template for use anywhere:

  • Always try and find out if there is a specific person you can address. Doing so not only proves you've done your research on the firm, but also that you are personable. 

 

  • A cover letter, like an essay, should follow a concrete structure. Consider the following:

    • First Paragraph - The first paragraph should contain a brief introduction about yourself and your interest in the role you are applying for. The last sentence of this paragraph should highlight the three or four reasons that make you a strong candidate for the role​

    • Second Paragraph - This paragraph is dedicated to highlighting your skills. Talk about the three abilities you listed in the previous paragraph. Give an example of how you used each skill, and highlight what you accomplished. End the second paragraph with how you are interested in applying these skills at MBB.

    • Third Paragraph - The final paragraph highlights why you are interested in this specific firm. Treat this question seriously—do your research and discuss why being a BA or associate at the firm excites you. Do not be generic and talk about how you want to travel or work at a prestigious company, for example. Instead, be specific—for instance, you could talk about an interaction with a specific partner at your university's recruiting event and how their enthusiasm for the firm inspired you to apply.

 

  • Conclude politely and succinctly in a way that excites the hiring manager. Finish strong and promise something of real value to the firm at which you are applying. 

 

  • In total, aim for around 500 words at most. That is what makes writing a cover letter tricky—you have to communicate ample information in a succinct manner and do so while being both clear and engaging. Every word counts. 

For more detailed tips and suggestions, including a real world cover letter example - visit the shop to check out the cover letter guide that is right for you!