It is common to see “team player” listed as a requirement in job postings. Employers not only want knowledgeable and highly skilled workers, they also want professionals who work well with others and who are willing to go the extra mile. Instead of simply calling yourself a team player, use your cover letter to showcase your commitment to your team.
“You” vs. “I”
Instead of focusing only on your skills, talents and other qualifications, concentrate on the employer’s needs and goals. To do this, use “you" statements instead of constantly referring to “I" throughout your letter. For example, instead of saying “I’m deadline-oriented,” say “You can count on me to meet every deadline and ensure my work lives up to your clients’ expectations.” This demonstrates that you realize the company’s success is a group effort. It also shows employers that you’ll place their reputation and customer satisfaction first.
Demonstrate how you’ve contributed to group projects or supported the rest of the team at your previous jobs. For example, describe how you have collaborated with your colleagues to develop a new product or bring in several important clients. Also, highlight instances where you came through when your employer or your co-workers needed you. Maybe you worked overtime to fill in for an employee who was sick, or delayed your vacation or took on extra work for the good of the company.
Highlight Interpersonal Skills
Instead of concentrating only on your accomplishments or even the results you’ve produced at prior jobs, illustrate your ease in communicating and collaborating with others. For example, describe the steps you take to generate enthusiasm about a project or boost employee morale. Explain what you do if you disagree with a colleague. By walking employers through situations that required teamwork on your part, you provide evidence that you’re a team player, and inspire confidence in your ability to work with your colleagues even in the toughest situations.
One of the clearest ways to demonstrate you have a team-player attitude is to discuss how much you enjoy working with others. In your letter, describe what you liked about working closely with colleagues at your previous jobs. Talk about how much their camaraderie meant to you and what you learned or how you benefited from your workplace relationships. For example, mention how you’ve always valued being part of a team because you can draw on the insight of co-workers who are more experienced or have different skill sets than you.