The Cover Letter Burger

Yes, you read that right. A cover letter burger. Veggie, cheese, turkey, extra bacon bleu cheese- and cover letter.

When I work with students, I find it’s easier for them to understand a not-so-everyday-concept if it’s put in the context of an everyday item. Hence, the Cover Letter Burger was born.

The seeds on top of the bun are the little things that are necessary to include in a formal business letter: contact information, salutation, thank you, and indicating there is an attachment or enclosure. It’s that little extra touch to show how professional you are.

Then comes the top bun. No one likes a lot of bun, right? It gets in the way of the burger. So, just like we want a small bun, we also want a small introduction paragraph. Introduce yourself, explain how you found the job/internship, and say something nice about their company/organization/school to personalize it.

Your toppings, instead of lettuce, pickle, and extra ketchup, will be information about you that may not be particularly relevant. Your campus involvement, volunteer work, a study abroad experience where you took gen ed classes, a job that has transferable skills. Good information to add some insight, but not the main focus.

Now we get to the “meat” of the cover letter (get it?). This is all about you and your relevant information. Highlight the things that make you perfect for this job. Your internship, your tutoring in your major classes, related courses and any big academic projects, your thesis- they all count. Just be sure to use good judgment on how relevant they are to the job at hand.

Finally, we get down to the bottom bun. Still, not many people are huge fans, so we’ll keep our closing paragraph short and sweet, too. Let them know you look forward to talking more with them and you’ll be in touch with them again in the near future. Encourage them to reach out to you with questions and to set up an interview. And of course, thank them for their consideration.

How’s that for an unconventional burger? What tips do you have for writing a cover letter?

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