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How to write a cover letter

cover letter

Cover letters are great in helping your application stand out — especially for those competitive jobs. Here are a few tips on how to write a cover letter.

Cover letters are a great addition to applications. They offer an opportunity to put a personal voice to your resume by creating a story of your work experience and how you’re a good fit for the job. Cover letters can also help you stand out in a large pool of applications, because you’re taking the extra step to include one. But writing one can be slightly frustrating. Unlike a resume, a new cover letter should be written for each job you’re applying for. They should amplify your accomplishments, your strengths and your interest in the position — all in a couple of concise paragraphs.

Even if you don’t struggle with writing cover letters, here are some pointers to help you feel more confident.

Prepare
Before you begin writing a cover letter, you should carefully read the job description. Jot down two or three key requirements that the employer is looking for in a candidate and focus on how your experience meets or exceeds those requirements. If you have any awards, promotions or certifications that expand your skill set and will transfer to the job description, be sure to note those down as well.

Research
Cover letters should have a personal touch, and those that add a little detail on why you’re applying to a specific location go a lot further — so make sure to do some research and figure out what it is that makes you want to work where you’re applying. Perhaps you have a love for the cuisine of a certain establishment and you want to grow your knowledge in that area, or maybe you respect how the restaurant gives back to its community. These are good things to consider for your own personal career growth, but also to highlight in a cover letter. It shows that you’re applying to this specific job because you truly want to work for that business.

Write
With a cover letter for a restaurant job, you don’t want to be too lengthy. It should be concise and only a couple of paragraphs long. In the opening, you can lead in with some enthusiasm for becoming aware of the job opening, but don’t spend too long here (one sentence). In the first paragraph you should focus on your experience and achievements, demonstrating (ideally with specific examples) how they make you a great fit for the position given the requirements in the job description. Remember to focus on the two or three key requirements you took note of while preparing to write a cover letter.

In the second paragraph, quickly describe why you want to work at that establishment — what do you know about the restaurant that gets you excited and makes you want to work there? This step shows you’re not just applying to any job you see, you specifically want to work for this employer and you already have a knowledge of the business. Finally, give a short ending something along the lines of, “I look forward to scheduling an interview with you,” or “Thank you for your consideration.”

Review
No matter what you write, always give it a thorough read through. Even books that have had multiple sessions of editing end up having typo’s — so don’t put it past yourself. Just carefully read through what you’ve written, perhaps even out loud to catch any awkward sentences. If you have the time and patience, pass it off to a friend for fresh eyes.

Now you’re ready to submit your resume with a cover letter! Creating a cover letter for a restaurant job can give you a huge boost when job hunting by making your resume more memorable. It’s also good to get into the practice of writing them, because as you grow your career and move into more advanced roles, cover letters will become more of a requirement.

Ashley Lange

Ashley Lange likes to cook, loves to bake and is always day-dreaming of her next meal. Ashley has spent the last 10 years in various roles within the food industry and is currently a server in Portland, Oregon.

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