This is a guest post by author Peter Felton
Although you may not sense it at first, penning personal statements for admission to college, graduate school, and even independent private and parochial high schools serves as excellent practice for concocting cover letters for jobs leading to future professions down the line.
After tackling the technical aspects of scholastic applications, the time has come for you to reveal everything wonderful that you yourself have to offer in terms of academic accomplishments (ranging from achieving the highest standardized test scores and Grade Point Average of all time–as featured front-and-center in the latest edition of the Guinness Book of World Records; to serving as a junior politician on your school’s student council and advising your peers and school administrators on how your academic institution can become an even more well-oiled machine; to serving hundreds of hours of community service to show that you represent your neighborhood better than any local standing politician; to your impressive streak of perfect attendance since the night you camped out in front of your preschool waiting for Opening Day of the new school year to commence, on an annual basis…) when going on safari in your endless school hunt.
Years later, as you prepare to wind down your college career, it is time for you to begin seriously thinking about expanding your professional horizons to experiencing the world of full-time work firsthand. But while filling out the parts of job applications requiring nothing more than your contact information, and brief descriptions of your previous jobs held in a resume-like format–albeit with much less room to handwrite everything you brought forth in the employment of your recent past (whether part-time, full-time, or strictly on-call in financial terms and hourly status) can be fulfilled effortlessly after a point, tidying up the introductory portion of your self-proclamation of professionalism from all different angles can prove taxing (even outside of the processing fee) beyond many measures.
Fortunately, as society becomes more heavily invested in online networking and social media to boot, crafting your own style of self-promotion for the world of employment through writing has never been easier thanks to opportunities available online for everyday practice mastering the pastime! This fantastic feature of online self-promotion on both the social and business fronts appears in the form of the growing LinkedIn online community of working professionals! As you go about building and thoroughly polishing your resume for prospective employers to drool all over, the world of the Internet has your back at all times throughout the anxiety-provoking process thanks to the aforementioned network that allows you to present yourself photographically and literarily in a professional medium within an open folder just one click away!
But here is the advantage that LinkedIn owns over basic paper (and in some cases, electronic-) job applications when it comes to practicing for proper preparation of professional prestige on paper—in addition to assisting you, the applicant, with perfecting your upcoming cover letter essentially restating every bullet point benchmark noted on your more linear resume: the highly recommended option of complete-sentence written descriptions of each and every professional pillar of your work history beneath their basic title within their corresponding column! Although character count is limited (for more information on how to handle this frequent tedium in all different types of writing, feel free to consult my author blog post, “Make Every Word Count With Word Count; Limit Your Characters Without Limiting Your Character”, published here at Serious Reading) to one page in total length for the sake of succinct solidity, this hidden tactic actually serves as a blessing in disguise in terms of preparing you for how to shorten your sentence structure and accompanying descriptions of each and every job highlight to be included on your growing resume, summarized in brief on your ensuing cover letter(s).
Similar to the content of my author blog post, “Write Like You Talk And Talk Like You Write” (published here at Serious Reading), when concocting your cover letter for a prospective job of interest on your part, it is a good idea to envision your written introduction as a preview for any prospective job interviews you may be so fortunate to get offered upon submitting your cover letter and resume for consideration as a candidate for the corresponding means of employment. Your cover letters for each and every job that you apply for essentially restate your resume in a nutshell in complete-sentence paragraph format reminiscent of the bullet points of succinct, relevant information present on your attached resume. Therefore, when penning them each piece by piece, if you can envision yourself articulating similar information in rhythmic detail during your in-person interviews to/with your hopeful employer, then the cover letters can convey similar professional proclamations on paper that you would otherwise deliver orally—albeit with polished writing mechanics from top to bottom!
When the big moment arrives for you to meet and converse with your professional job interviewer, you can theoretically “memorize the script” present throughout your self-penned cover letter to help guide you internally throughout the interview process itself. And if you are good enough for your word up front literarily and vocally, that dream job just may be yours! From that point on, you will be perfectly content professionally, and your writing skills will have grown considerably to the point where you no longer fear the obstacle of putting pen to paper and constructing an effective cover letter (complete with a convincing resume) stating your professional background and vision in smooth flowing fashion!