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COVER LETTER TIPS
5 Tips To Bullet Proof Your Lawyer Cover Letter
By: Leslie White

Employers look for individualized and thoughtfully written cover letters to select applicants who may be on the cusp.  In other words, a well-written lawyer cover letter can make the difference between getting an interview and getting rejected.  Will your lawyer cover letter pass muster? Here are 5 tips to bullet proof your lawyer cover letter and help you secure an interview:

Tip 1: Keep Your Cover Letter Brief

Your lawyer cover letter should not go over one page.   To keep it brief use short paragraphs and bullet points whenever possible.  Use fewer but descriptive words to get your point across.  A well-written lawyer cover letter should present the essence of who you are, what you have to offer, and why you are interested in the organization and the position in a concise and precise manner.  While it is a relatively short document, it is one that will require time to draft because of its exactness.

Tip 2: Do Not Regurgitate Information From Your Resume

The cover letter is another opportunity to sell yourself to a prospective employer.  In other words, it’s a separate document from the resume and should not be a regurgitation of what has already been covered in the resume.  To take full advantage of the opportunity the cover letter represents, you need to provide it with fresh language and a new way of telling an employer why you are the right person for the job. 

Tip 3: Customize Your Cover Letter To The Employer And The Position

Employers can tell the difference between a canned cover letter and a customized lawyer cover letter.  Cut and paste jobs where only the employer contact information is changed are obvious and will do little to help advance your candidacy.  In fact, it may be best not to sent a lawyer cover letter if it is going to be a form cover letter.  Sending a canned cover letter will indicate to a potential employer that you don’t care enough about the position to take the time to draft something just for them.  When employers are looking for any reason to reject your application amongst the score of applicants they are reviewing, it’s not a good idea to provide them with an easy one.

Tip 4: Explain Why You Are Interested In The Organization And The Position

Employers are looking for lawyer cover letters that show that you have done some research about their company and the position.  In other words, they want to see that you’ve done your homework and put some effort into the cover letter to make it specific to them.  Research each employer and position. This will allow you to personalize your lawyer cover letter and draw direct connections between your qualifications and the job requirements.

Tip 5: Demonstrate Why You Are The Right Candidate For The Position

If you think your experience and resume speak for themselves, you’re wrong.   You need to remember that the person reading your submission is also scanning through hundreds of other applicants with similar skills and background.  What will differentiate you from the score of other candidates is your ability to connect the dots.  In other words, you need to demonstrate how your background makes you well suited for the position.

You need to pay close attention to the requirements of the position, and match them to your skills and accomplishments.  Every point you make in your lawyer cover letter should make the link between the position’s requirements and your background.  You should list specific examples of how you acquired or mastered a skill, and quantify the results.  This is your opportunity to make a case for why you should be hired.  State confidently why you are the right candidate for the job, and how you can contribute to the bottom line. 



Date: 10/06/14
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