Because it is so important to your chances at getting a nonprofit job, it stands to reason that what you write can have a big impact on your chances. That's why you should never wait to write it until the last minute. Instead, you should plan out carefully what you want to say. Don't be afraid to constantly refine it until you get the message you want.
That is the first of four rules that you should follow when crafting your cover letter. Here are the other three:
- Don't Rehash: One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is simply rehashing what they already listed in their resumes. If you want to expand on a specific point, that's find, but you should really focus on giving specific reasons why you are best for the job.
- Know The Norms: Speak to people in the nonprofit sector and see what hiring managers in that industry usually expect from applicant cover letters. What length do they want? Are there specific details they like to hear? All of this information can be key to meeting the needs of the employer.
- Proofread, Proofread, Proofread: There's no such thing as too much proofreading with something this important. There's nothing more embarrassing than a few careless typos in the middle of an otherwise great cover letter. Try reading it out loud to make sure it sounds OK. This will also help you spot errors that you missed.