Essential Cover Letter Skills for Business Majors
Getting a job in the business world straight out of college can be difficult. You have to compete with thousands of other candidates, many of whom may already have serious work experience. That’s why it’s important to demonstrate to employers that you have the relevant skills needed to help you succeed on the job.
Adding the right skills to your resume helps but ultimately doesn’t give you the same space to elaborate on your accomplishments that a cover letter does.
That’s why pairing your resume with an exceptional cover letter that highlights your business skills is one of the best ways to demonstrate that you’re qualified. Your cover letter is an opportunity to tell the company a bit about yourself and your set of skills, and elaborate on the strengths you have that can benefit their team.
Here are six critically important skills that business majors should include in their cover letters. Especially focus on the ones that best reflect you as a job seeker, so you can create a stronger application and more easily land work after graduating.
6 Key Skills for Business Majors
1. Communication and negotiation
Effective communication skills are one of the cornerstones of any successful business. Whether written or verbal, strong communication skills help you get your point across, create better client relationships, and mitigate conflicts.
Being a great communicator also means being able to negotiate between parties effectively. Knowing how to reach a deal and work with other parties amicably is an essential talent for anyone in the business world. Employers are always looking for employees who can be trusted to represent themselves and the company well via good communication.
Even if you’re not in a management role, being able to delegate tasks, take the lead on projects, and guide others toward success is important for any business workplace. Furthermore, demonstrating your leadership skills will help companies see that you're a great fit for an entry-level position, and that you’re able to move up in the company later on.
Business majors who can demonstrate strong leadership skills signal to employers that they’re a great long-term investment. If you can use your cover letter to convince the hiring manager of your ability to take advantage of new opportunities, think creatively, and solve problems with integrity, you have a great chance of standing apart from other applicants.
Success in the business world is sometimes simply about who you know. That’s why networking is a crucial skill for business majors.
From finding a job to signing new clients, being able to establish and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with people in the industry is invaluable for your long-term career.
Additionally, networking increases your ability to understand and work with people across industries and cultures. Networking is thus understandably a useful skill if you want to work for a business looking to expand into new markets.
Modern businesses are constantly shifting focus, restructuring their departments, and looking for new opportunities. Further, the technology that companies rely on to keep their operations running is changing at a faster rate than ever.
Adapting quickly to changes, adopting new practices, and tackling unexpected problems are key skills for any aspiring business professional.
5. Financial Literacy
Skillfully managing financial decisions is a basic part of the job for most business professionals. Knowing how to assess a company’s financial needs, take the complexities of the market into account, and ultimately make a decision based on that information is critical to your long-term success.
Use your cover letter to demonstrate to the hiring manager that you have the financial acumen needed to make informed, logical decisions. Proving your aptitude for numbers early on goes a long way toward solidifying your hireability in the eyes of potential employers.
6. Project Management
Organizing and leading numerous projects are key skills for anyone involved in business. If you can demonstrate that you have the ability to guide and drive projects to completion, many employers will be more prepared to hire you.
Candidates with strong project management skills will understand their role within the company's system, work with others to optimize workflows, and ultimately save the company time and money.
Highlight Your Business Skills
When it’s time to write your cover letter, you should strategize first. Focus on explaining how your experience and skills can be applied directly to the role you're applying for.
If you're not sure how to address these experiences and skills, explore example cover letters from other professionals in your industry for some points of reference.
You may also want to consider building a portfolio to assist you in your job search. This may not be as intuitive to business majors as to creative majors, but it will certainly help you stand out from other job seekers applying for the same position.