An easy 5 step formula for your cover letter

most popular job interview questions

Writing a cover letter is easily the most challenging part of the job search, made even worse because probably nobody is even going to read it.

This is because most big companies now use software to scan resumes for top applicants, and only a few flagged as a good fit will be seen by human eyes. Only then will someone look at your cover letter.

Regardless, it’s best not to dwell too much on this because you have to write one anyway. And you have to write it as though someone will read it. Because someone might.

What do you want to accomplish with your cover letter? You want to impress the reader enough to call you for an interview. How do you do that? By wowing them with your communication skills and accomplishments.

Here’s an easy formula for your cover letter

Start with a greeting

People often recommend starting with something about your history, like: “Dear Mr./Ms. Lastname. I am a project manager with 15 years of experience…”

I don’t love that. I think you should start with something about the position and/or the company. And, if you know the hiring manager’s name, use it. I like the starter “Dear.” You can also  go with “Hello.” (Not “Hey” or “Hi” or “To whom it may concern.”)

“Dear Mr./Ms. Lastname: I was excited to find your job posting for a marketing manager at Company X on CareerBeacon. I admire your marketing and mission and am a user of your products.”

Say what you do and why you are the best person for the role

“I am a marketing professional with more than ten years of experience creating successful and innovative marketing campaigns for various companies, including ABC company and DEF company.

Broadly cover your work history, but don’t rehash your resume

“I have been fortunate to work with some of the best people on some exciting projects and have had the opportunity to develop a vast array of skills, from writing and editing to analytics and SEO, to user experience, audience retention, email marketing, managing budgets, and public relations.”

Highlight a major accomplishment

“One success I’m particularly proud of is the recent rebranding of GHI Company, in which I took the lead as Project Manager on a campaign designed to reach the 18-25 demographic, dramatically increasing brand visibility, receiving more than 10 million media impressions, and improving sales to that market by more than 500%.”

Mention something you admire about the company

“I admire Company X’s staying power and longevity in such a competitive industry and the organization’s social responsibility initiatives, including your focus on sustainability.”

Sign off with respectful enthusiasm

“It would be a privilege to be a part of your management team, and I would love to meet with you to discuss the value I can bring to your organization. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.”

Here’s the whole letter

Dear Mr./Ms. Lastname,

I was excited to find your job posting for a marketing manager at Company X on CareerBeacon. I admire your marketing and mission and am a user of your products.

I am a marketing professional with more than ten years of experience creating successful and innovative marketing campaigns for various companies, including ABC company and DEF company.

I have been fortunate to work with some of the best people on some exciting projects and have had the opportunity to develop a vast array of skills, from sales and lead nurturing, to analytics, AdWords, and SEO, to user experience, email marketing, native advertising, and public relations.

One success I’m particularly proud of is the recent rebranding of GHI Company, in which I took the lead as Project Manager on a campaign designed to reach the 18-25 demographic, dramatically increasing brand visibility, receiving more than a million media impressions in six months, and improving sales to that market by more than 500%.

I admire Company X’s staying power and longevity in such a competitive industry and the organization’s social responsibility initiatives, including your focus on sustainability.

It would be a privilege to be a part of your management team, and I would love to meet with you to discuss the value I can bring to your organization. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Best Candidate Ever

Use this easy formula for your cover letter. Good luck!

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