First impressions aren’t everything, but they count for a lot nonetheless. Often, if you make the wrong impression, you may find that the application process will seem like an uphill battle. To avoid that, it’s best to start your introduction with your best foot forward. That becomes especially important when you’re a student, likely with little to no experience. Your personality and values are mostly your selling point. For our international students in the Netherlands, here are the most useful tips on writing a perfect cover letter to impress your future employers.
Sometimes, it may seem that no matter how much you apply, you’re competing against impossible odds. However, that’s not true, as job opportunities for students are always there, but only for the ones that know how to search and apply as effectively as possible!
Stylistically, it’s essential to keep it simple. This point differs depending on the culture of the country you’re applying in. Still, as a rule, high formality shows you are capable of acting responsibly when necessary. Additionally, it’s crucial to be straightforward and honest, without trying to make yourself appear as something else – instead, showcase your strengths in anequitable manner.
Structure your motivation letter for the job application appropriately, by delimiting your writing into different sections that may be of interest to your potential employer. That not only shows your ability to organize information effectively, thereby accentuating your communication skills, but also makes it easier for anyone reading to process the information. That means making it clear where you found the ad and what your motivation is. In short – your skills and the way they would fill the necessities of the function. These should be completed by a detailing that uses examples from your past. Here, a common mistake is writing too much. Short and sweet, a one-page limit on your cover letter is the ideal option to aim for when crafting the letter that’s going to get you hired.
Job offers for students come in many forms, but all require you to detail your reasons for applying. Regarding describing your motivation, make it as concrete as possible, as opposed to the ubiquitous general forms you’re likely used to by now. Try to tailor your cover letter as tightly as possible to the company. That means underlining the values you share with the company, knowing the name of the person you’re addressing the letter to, as well as everything relevant to the function itself. A mistake that can happen here is getting a company detail wrong or, god-forbid, addressing it to the wrong person. Make sure to do your research, and if you’re not sure – ask! Nobody will think worse if you call-in or send a message to clarify a detail. Instead, it shows you’re willing to go the extra mile in making sure you’re doing the best you can, which is essential.
Remember to always end the letter with a statement of looking forward to meeting them for further discussions. That shows a clear intent towards the job.
Something still feels off? Look for examples of motivation letter samples for jobs, available online, for ideas on what essential elements your cover letter might be missing. Some classic mistakes are typos (proofread multiple times!) or not having significant differences from your CV, in terms of content. Remember, you don’t want to repeat yourself, rather impress upon the reader why exactly you are going to be a good fit at the place you’re applying.
Make sure you know how to write a professional CV, as well. The CV is often the first thing to be looked over, as a general overview of your personality or raw data of who you are. In contrast, the cover letter is intended to bring attention to what makes you unique, offer insight into who you are as a person, and what makes you the ideal candidate.