We understand that it is a hard journey for you to find a job in a foreign country as an international student. However, if you can ace the cover letter in Canada, your employment chance could be very high.
In this blog, we are going to give you four tips on how to write an eye-catching cover letter that could make you stand out from other applicants. If you would like to seek extra help on writing an outstanding cover letter, please feel free to contact us by connecting with our advisor.
First, put your personal information in the header and make it consistent with your resume
Consistency is a small way to show that you are detail-oriented. Standard personal information should include your legal full name, email, and phone number. If you want to be eye-catching in a good way, you could consider using several vocabularies to describe your top three strengths; or you could use one short sentence to introduce yourself.
A quick story:
The public accounting firm, Deloitte (one of the Big 4) has always been an accounting student’s dream company and the recruitment process is always competitive. According to HR, they could often receive 200+ applications from a single job opening. Due to the huge amounts of applications, they could have only spent 1 minute reading your cover letter. There was one time that an applicant used the signature Deloitte green color in the header and it was so eye-catching; as a result, the applicant stood out from the 200 cover letters and HR offered the applicant an interview.
Second, talk about your school projects if you don’t have enough work experience
As a recent graduate or someone who is still in school, you may not have that much of the work experience to write in your cover letter. No worries, you could story-tell about your past school projects by using the STAR method. To describe the situation, define YOUR task and the action you took, and don’t forget to report on the result YOU achieved. Keep in mind that you want to use ‘I’ instead of ‘we’ because it is you finding a job and you want to highlight your leadership and skills.
Third, bridge your skills to the job description
Very often students will write paragraphs talking about their skills and experiences; however, they may forget to bridge their skills with the job description. For example, you could write a paragraph describing your outgoing personality (as being outgoing is required for the nature of the job you are applying for). However, if you could extend the paragraph by saying, “if hired, I will be super confident to utilize my public speaking skills to conduct sales presentations for the company”, your statement will become more solid and will leave a positive impression on the company. (As you have already thought about how you can be an asset to the company.)
Fourth, double-check the grammar, the name of the employer & HR, and the job title you are applying for.
Since lots of students are using the same (or with minor edited) resume and cover letter for various job applications, it is essential to check on the employer and HR’s name, make sure you spell them correctly and use the right title to salute. Also, you want to make sure you are writing the job title (you are applying for) correctly. There could be a big difference between the work duty of an associate and an assistant.