I’m a final-semester Mechanical Engineering student planning on pursuing ID in the near future. I need to take a (school) year off in order to develop a portfolio to get into an ID school and think it might be a good idea to pursue some (any) sort of placement in an ID company or division in the mean time. Anyways, I’d appreciate any feedback you’re willing to give on my cover letter, which I’ve provided a link to.
Is there anything I should direct more attention to? Expand upon? Eliminate? Any feedback that might help my chances is greatly appreciated, thanks!
I definitely agree with those two points and I plan to implement those changes as soon as I know who exactly I’ll be applying to work with. On the topic of personalization, what should I make specific to the company seeing as I spend most of the time talking about myself and experience?
Should I eliminate a portion of the letter to make room for explaining what about the company is attractive to me? If so, what can I put less emphasis on (academic projects, engineering work placement, etc.)?
I feel that I need to present my engineering academic credentials, but not dwell on them as much as I might if I were applying for an engineering job.
I would say try to compress the credentials… I know they want to know about you but dont just tell them whats on your resume, try and dig deeper. I know with some of my cover letters I talk about my philosophy and what I can do for “X Company” and how I feel it would be beneficial to both parties.
The “i don’t know who is going to read this letter” address is not as bad as some figure. If you can scout out who it will go to great. But if you are emailing it to generic address (ie. HR@XXX.com I think it’s better to keep it generic than assume the manager will be the first one reading it (not likely)). If you are addressing it personally you need to send it to a personal email address (where it also could get buried if the post asks to send it to HR). If in doubt, “Dear Hiring Manager” works, and won’t offend a non-hiring manager.
You should mention in the first sentance or two what you are applying for and where you found the position. Otherwise, how do they not it’s not some irrelevant email (you’d be surprised how short the attention span of people reading these things is). If they don’t know in 5sec what you are after, it’s in the bin.
The “before I do so, I believe…” is useless. Basically you are saying you want a job, but are taking 100 words to say it. Goes without saying.
Overall about 20-50% too long. Also too generic. Ditch the intro sentences to most paragraphs as they don’t say much. General format should be:
I have done X.
In doing so I have demonstrated Y, Z.
I think my skills at Y, Z would be of benefit to you as A,B,C are also important in your company.
I have shown skills Y,Z in doing X.
Overall, keep it more to the point and show causality. If you have done R, you have shown S. Because of S, you think you can achieve T., etc.
Sorry for all the letters, hope it is all clear. Most important is to have a short intro (saw your job post X at Y and I would like to express my interest), and outro (I think I can provide Z, which would benefit you because of ZZ). Stuff in the middle to follow format in point #4.
Awesome feedback, especially point 4! Thanks you! I think I’ll be modifying this letter to each job I apply to on a job by job basis based on this feedback. I’ll focus on causality, what specific contribution I could make, and trimming down the boring details.