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A traditional cover letter, is, as you guessed it, based on your average cover letter template.

You’ll most likely write this version if you’re applying to a very traditional company (like a law firm or major healthcare company) or a very traditional role (like a lawyer or accountant), or when you’re just looking to lean more conservative and safe.

It can be an anecdote from another job or experience showing how hard of a worker you are.

Whatever you decide to open with, The next few paragraphs, Godfred explains, are where you include one of two things: “If you’re someone who’s transitioning careers, and you need to explain that transition, you do it there.” But if you’re not a career changer, use this section to “hit them with the strongest results you have that are aligned with the opportunity,” she states.

It helps you explain your value proposition, stand out from the stack, and create “continuity between your application and the person you’re going to be when you walk into the room,” Godfred says.

If there’s a gap in your resume, you have the opportunity to explain why it’s there.

Talk about your experience using Salesforce or doing SEO work (and get those job description keywords in! These values should be as much a part of your cover letter as the nitty-gritty.

More on that later), but also highlight your ability to lead teams and communicate effectively. Kahn explains that your closing line could include your next steps, such as “I welcome the opportunity to speak with you more about how I can contribute to [team]” or “I would love to schedule a time for us to discuss this role and my experience.” But more importantly, “you want to make sure that you’re gracious and thanking them,” he says.

Let’s say you’re applying to a paralegal job opening.

The job description might look something like this: In my five-year career as a paralegal, I have honed my legal research and writing skills, and the attorneys I’ve worked with have complimented me on my command of case law and litigation support.


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