I do a lot of work with graduates, helping them get their start in the world. Today I wrote a reply to one about a cover letter they wrote to Aldi supermarket for an internship they are offering. The advice in this letter is valid to anyone, so I thought I'd share it with you all.
The cover letter you have written is 'nice' writing, but it doesn't sound particularly sincere. My biggest problem with it is how generic it comes across, like so many other cover letters. That's not to say it's bad, no it's nice, but it's just not my style. If I were reading that I could skim read it and add you to the pile of 'maybe's'. What I look for personally is a personality that leaps off the page, and below are my tips for doing that.
1.) Topic sentences: Make the first line of each paragraph a ripper, something really bold and exciting
2.) Examples - Don't say "I have creative problem solving skills, strong analytics skills etc." This doesn't mean anything, it's like me saying 'I know what women want'… the question is 'how do you know?'. Say things like 'My experience as the head of a CFA unit highlights my ability to lead. As a role where I was the youngest member by 20 years, I was in a situation where I had to lead the unit and make split second strategy decision, often with significant consequences… this is much like business….
3.) Why do you want to work for them? - If you are going to the effort of writing a cover letter, you should also research what you like about them. Talk about their inspiring pricing policy, the way they give back to the community, or your own experience with their brand. Also, leverage your German origins better than a throwaway line.
At the end of the day if you are going to bother doing it, spend time doing it right. If you want to endear yourself to someone you research them, personalise your communication to them. Generic flirting will always get you the same result, but a personalised appeal will drive straight to the point and render a much strong response.
This is the end of my advice on this letter, but I have a lot of other comments to make and I hope to share them over the course of time.