How to write a cover letter to go with your resume


A cover letter and a resume have to go together. Follow my simple, 3-step recipe, to easily produce many cover letters which will improve your chances of making an impact. A lot of the effort you put in resume writing can be leveraged (copy-pasted) into your cover letter. My approach is really about saving you time, without skipping the cover letter (which remains a necessary step)!

To help you put it together, here are an example and a template of cover letters. Mix and match the sample sentences from the template to create a cover letter that works for you!

– TEMPLATE –

Dear Mr./Ms. _________ or Human Resources Director/Personnel Manager:

*** HOOK — KEY MESSAGES (2-5 lines) ***

In addition to a XYZ degree in FIELD, I possess X years of experience in…
While at COMPANY, I [achieved result X]…
I have a record of outstanding…
I have acquired excellent…
Given my X years’ experience and commitment to …
As a mechanical engineer with 8 years of experience, a manufacturing background and a degree in FIELD, my credentials should meet your requirements.

*** MEAT & POTATOES (2-5 lines) ***

You are advertising for a POSITION…
I am eager to continue my successful track record with a new company that needs a [dedicated/energetic/other quality] POSITION…
I am responding to your ad in CITYPAPER for a POSITION…
I recently took a sabbatical and finished by Bachelor of Arts…
(You might have gaps in your employment history that you want to explain, but it has to be done carefully, i.e. how could this be interpreted?)

*** RESULTS/ACCOMPLISHMENTS ***

Accomplishments achieved to date include:
- Accomplishment 1
- Accomplishment 2
- Accomplishment 3

*** POLITE & OPTIMISTIC INVITATION ***

I look forward to a meeting at which we can determine how I can contribute to your company’s future success.

My resume is enclosed for your consideration. I hope to hear from you soon.

*** CLOSE ***

Sincerely,
Firstname Lastname

– EXAMPLE –

Dear Personnel Manager:

I have applied my accounting and management skills to fully develop the accounting process at a small business and I have consistently improved processes in my various roles. Over the course of the year, I should have completed the required training for the CPA designation.

I am responding to your ad on jobsite.com. I’m bringing to your attention my skills, achievements and 5 years of professional experience in accounting so that we can discuss my joining COMPANY as a member of your Finance or Accounting team.

Results achieved to date include:
- Fully developed and implemented a new accounting process for Boutique XYZ.
- Improved efficiency around accounts payable, by organizing in-flow of invoices and all important documents, with Excel.
- Saved time on file retrieval by creating a library of client information, at ABC Capital.

I look forward to a meeting at which we can determine how I can contribute to your company’s future success.

Sincerely,

Carl Smith

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