By attracting and keeping talent, recruiters assist businesses in filling their staffing gaps. These professionals’ primary responsibilities include creating hiring specifications, communicating with managers about human resources requirements, posting job advertisements, writing job descriptions, creating presentations, screening job applications, adhering to human resources laws, and managing employee relocations. Recruiters are frequently required to oversee internship programs by mentoring participants and keeping tabs on their progress.
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A strong cover letter will increase your chances of being noticed. Take a look at our guide to create the .
A good cover letter
- Describes yourself and the position you’re seeking to the employer;
- demonstrates your familiarity with the specific employer and the nature of the work the employer performs (i e. work with the law, serving clients directly, “impact” cases, and antitrust litigation);
- Demonstrates your writing skills;
- Demonstrates your commitment to the work of that particular employer;
- Conveys that you have something to contribute to the employer;
- demonstrates your “fit” with the company, and
- Include information on how to contact you by phone, email, and mail for the employer.
Hiring attorneys and recruiting administrators use cover letters to
- Eliminate applicants whose letters have typos or other errors, particularly in the firm’s and the contact person’s names;
- Reject candidates whose cover letters reflect a lack of investigation into, familiarity with, or enthusiasm for the employer’s work;
- Reject candidates who can’t demonstrate the value they’ll bring to the employer; and
- Examine the applicant’s interest in the city or employer to see if there are any geographic ties or other details that could explain it.
Your current address should be centered or aligned with the left margin of the page. Include a phone number where people can reach you the easiest under your address (i e. , your cell phone) and email address. The date is included under that contact information.
Determine to whom you should address the cover letter. If you are applying to law firms, address your letter to the recruiting director, unless you have reason to do otherwise—for example, if you have been instructed to address the letter to a particular attorney at the firm. For NALP member firms, use www.nalpdirectory.com to obtain that contact information. For other firms and public interest employers, you can refer to their websites, or contact the office to determine to whom your materials should be directed. The name of the person to whom the letter is addressed, his or her title, the employer’s name, and address follow the date and are aligned with the left margin. If writing to an attorney, include Esq. after the person’s name. The greeting appears two lines below the employer’s address and should be “Dear Mr.,” “Dear Ms.,” “Dear Mx.,” “Dear [First Name] [LastName],” or “Dear Judge.” When possible, avoid addressing your letter generally, such as Dear Sir or Madam, or “To Whom It May Concern”; instead take the time to find the contact person and address the letter to that individual.
The cover letter’s body should be single-spaced, with a line separating each paragraph. In keeping with how you formatted the top of your letter, the closing (“Sincerely”) and your signature should be two lines below the letter’s final line and either in the center of the page or aligned with the left margin.
Although there are numerous approaches to write a cover letter, candidates have historically found success with the following general structure.
- Explain why you are sending your application to the employer in the first paragraph of your cover letter: “I am an experienced attorney admitted in New York and am seeking a position with the Trusts and Estates practice group at your company.” ” Mention your education background very briefly. Additionally, you should mention the mutual contact in the first paragraph if you were referred by them.
- Explain your interest in the employer in the second paragraph, mentioning things like the employer’s location, standing, field of expertise, or public service.
- Highlight why this employer should hire you in the third paragraph. Avoid repeating information that is already on your resume. Describe your credentials and experience that make you a superior attorney. It is especially crucial for lateral candidates to demonstrate the value they will bring to the company.
- The closing sentence should express gratitude to the employer for reviewing your application and provide contact information in case an interview is desired. You might want to promise that you will follow up with the employer in a couple of weeks and then follow through on that promise. This is particularly true for public interest employers, who frequently have staffing shortages and will value your extra effort.
Consult CDO’s Introduction to Career Development for more suggestions on cover letters in general. If you want to review and discuss your draft cover letter with a CDO counselor, please feel free to schedule a meeting.
-Last updated May 2020