10 Tips for Preparing a Professional Accounting Cover Letter
A cover letter is your opportunity to introduce yourself and provide details about why you are the right candidate for the position. Here are some tips to help you write a strong cover letter.
- Address it to the appropriate person whenever possible. If you don’t have that information handy, contact the organization to find out who the letter should be addressed to.
- Customize your letter based on the employer and position. Make sure you have read through the organization’s website and that you are clear on their business and services.
- Keep your cover letter brief and relevant—don’t try to cram as much information as you can. An HR manager will appreciate an easy-to-read letter and resume.
- Briefly describe how your skills and goals align to the company’s needs and be honest! Describe yourself and your skills accurately.
- Use relevant work or volunteer experience to show your skills in action and try to avoid using examples from school. All candidates will have participated in group projects and handed in assignments. What sets you apart?
- It is OK to acknowledge you have no previous experience, especially when applying to junior positions. If this is the case, express your willingness to learn.
- Try to avoid overused words such as "passionate" or "hard working". Plain language is often the best approach, unless you happen to be skilled in creative writing!
- No matter how careful you are with grammar, spelling and punctuation, it’s always a good idea to have someone proofread your letter.
- Keep your cover letter consistent with your resume in terms of format and writing style, and use plain, white paper that is appropriate for a business setting. Avoid tricks or gimmicks such as using coloured paper!
- If submitting a printed copy, make sure it looks presentable with no stains or ink smudges. Having a clean, neat and professional document goes a long way towards helping you get your foot in the door.
Every firm and organization will have different requirements and preferences when it comes to resumes and cover letters, but they all have one thing in common—limited time to go over them. Make it worthwhile, and make it count for you.
Next up in our blog series … tips for preparing and acing the interview. You’ve got this!
Omar Castro-Garcia is an Account Manager with Loren Nancke. His passion for helping others succeed is evident in the time he devotes to supporting his community and coworkers. You can reach him at 604-904-3807 in the Lower Mainland, British Columbia.
Kate Jessup is responsible for human resources, training and client services. As a Senior Account Manager, her work focuses on the human side of the equation. You can reach Kate at 604-904-3807 in the Lower Mainland, British Columbia.