If you’re ready to step into the work force, but you’re not interested in signing on for a full 40-hour week, you’ll have to make your intentions and your availability clear to potential employers from the start. There are few things more confusing and off-putting (to employers and job seekers alike) than a misunderstanding about the hours of work available or the hours a candidate can afford to commit to a new position.
Here are a few cover letter moves that can prevent this problem and reassure employers that the two of you are on the same page.
1. Don’t draw unnecessary attention to your scheduling needs. Be clear with employers about your part-time availability, but use your first sentence to say something else. Opening lines are powerful and leave a lasting impression regardless of their content. So use your first paragraph to discuss your central message—your fitness for the position—and leave the scheduling nuts and bolts for a discussion further down the page.
2. Use your second paragraph to discuss your background and skillsthat make you a better choice for this job than any other candidate. Skim quickly over the credentials and qualifications that other applicants are likely to have (work ethic and punctuality, for example). And move on to the skills and certifications that set you apart, like your CNC credentials, your horizontal management experience, or your familiarity with the latest complex scheduling software.
3. Show the commitment of a full-time employee. As you move into a discussion of your availability, make one thing very clear: that your part-time status will still involve a full and complete commitment on your part. You may only be stepping behind the counter or working on the shop floor for 10 hours a week, but while you’re in the workplace, you’ll be fully focused on the job and you’ll make company goals into personal goals.
4. If you have a long-term plan in mind, share it in your cover letter. For example, if you’d like to move into a full-time position within a year, it’s okay to say this. And it’s also okay to state that you’re happy to keep part-time hours into the indefinite future. These kinds of clarifications will make it easier for employers to decide if you’re an appropriate match.
5. Keep your letter clear and compelling, but short. And break your text into three or four short paragraphs rather than one large continuous block. This is always a wise approach to cover letter formatting , but it’s especially helpful for part-time employers who may be sifting through a high volume of resumes on a very tight deadline. Create a reading experience that’s fast and also memorable.
Send a Clear & Powerful Message
Help yourself by helping your potential employers staff this position with a person they can trust. Do this by sending a cover letter with one resonant, confident message: you’re the one for this job. Not someone else. The search for a candidate can stop right here. Visit LiveCareer for resume and cover letter building tools and a variety of templates that can help you deliver this message, land the interview, receive the offer, and move on with the next stage of your career.