By Charlotte Scott ’19
On December 1, 2015, Colgate Women in Business held an interactive and informational Coffee Hour on the subject of cover letters. Sara Hinton, a student liaison from Career Services, and Elsa Gomez Pena, CWiB’s Director of Education, led the discussion and answered questions from other students attending the Coffee Hour. We discussed the benefits of using cover letters, general formatting instruction, and information on how a cover letter differs from a resume.
Elsa asserted that since employers read countless cover letters, it’s incredibly important to find a way to make the cover letter distinguishable from the rest. This can be done using various methods including writing style or formatting, and even through the inclusion of evidence of detailed research about the company and elaboration on applicable skills and past experiences. Sarah explained the importance of finding the particular skills or qualities that employers list in the position description and ensuring that those same skills are clearly presented in the cover letter in the context of personal experiences.
Elsa and Sarah agreed that the ending of a cover letter should always be assertive. The two explained in their presentation, “Rather than saying, ‘I hope to hear from you soon,’ consider something along the lines of, ‘I believe I can be a valuable addition to your company, and I look forward to hearing from you.” Using this approach allows the cover letter to stand out to an employer with a more powerful and impactful finish.
Afterwards, a panel of members of the CWiB Executive Board including CEO Elaina Atallah, CFO Ariana Martin, and CMO Miriam Charry answered questions about previous experiences searching for internships, and how to most effectively use the resources available at Colgate throughout the process.
The last Coffee Hour of the semester was a definite success with a great turn out. Next semester we can expect topics such as LinkedIn profiles, mock interviews, and further career exploration for Coffee Hours.