Mark Wilson, Esq. reports:
"The cover letter -- which you should be sending even if a job description doesn't ask for it -- is your time to shine, to separate yourself from all the other lawyers blindly sending their resumes into the ether....Reference specific events from your work history. If a job description calls out a specific skill or responsibility as a requirement, you absolutely must mention it in your cover letter...Like peeling an apple or waging a war, there are many different theories about how...best to get the job done...In a three-part letter, the first part consists of your qualifications, the second your reasons for wanting to work there, and the third the specific qualifications you have. Or, you could use up to three of the desired qualifications from the job posting and provide examples of how you meet those qualifications, weaving your enthusiasm for the job in between...A cover letter must be framed in terms of how you can help the employer, never focusing on how working for the employer will benefit you. And please, skip any mention of 'improving' your skills with this prospective employer; that says only that your skills aren't already up to snuff...[A] cover letter should really only be a page long. There are very few instances in which a cover letter should go beyond a page. For example, an academic position or a judicial clerkship might warrant two pages, but not a private practice job...If you put on your resume that you 'pay attention to detail,'...but your cover letter contains typos, it's going into the cylindrical file. Or perhaps be burned to keep warm during this chilly winter."
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