How to Quickly Write a Cover Letter
Resumes and cover letters go together like popcorn and butter. That said, many people feel like the cover letter is a waste of time and write it carelessly, and only when it's requested! Since a lot of HR managers still expect cover letters, we strongly advise you to make one to accompany every resume you send. And in this post, you'll learn how to do it as simply as possible. To make the process less painful, here's a three-step recipe to help you write smart cover letters, which will in turn increase your odds of getting noticed.
Much of your resume writing efforts can be leveraged into your cover letter. Why think of something new when you can copy and paste, right? You can save some time, while still coming up with a cover letter that shows your best side. So here's a "paint-by-numbers" cover letter template, followed by an example.
You just have to mix and match the template's sentences to write a cover letter that makes sense for you!
The cover letter template
Dear Ms./Mr. _________ or Personnel Manager/Human Resources Director:
First paragraph: hook your reader in! In addition to a XXXX certificate in FIELD, I have 12 years of experience in… I have acquired expertise in… While at COMPANY, I [achieved result X]… I have a record of exceptional... Given my 20 years of experience and commitment to … As a POSITION with 6 years of experience, an industrial background and a degree in FIELD, my credentials meet all your expectations.
Second paragraph: the meat and potatoes I'm looking forward to continue my strong track record with an employer searching for a [dynamic/results-oriented/other quality] POSITION... I took a sabbatical last year and completed my Bachelor of ... I am replying to your ad on WEBSITE for a POSITION... You are looking for a POSITION... You might need to explain certain things about your situation. This is a good spot to do so. For example, gaps in your employment history, the fact that you're moving, etc. Always consider how this could be interpreted.
Third paragraph: a list of accomplishments and results (look through the blog for ideas) My most relevant accomplishments: - First accomplishment - Second accomplishment - Third accomplishment Conclusion: a positive and courteous invitation I hope we can soon meet to discuss how I could contribute to your organization’s objectives.
An example of what it should look like
Dear Human Resources Director:
I have acquired expertise with HVAC systems design, at COMPANY, as a junior engineer. I have a record of exceptional project management, with concrete results. Most of my projects have led to process improvements, such as saving X days on quality assurance by redesigning XXXX. I'm looking forward to continue my strong track record with an employer looking for a results-oriented mechanical engineer.
I'm currently living in Texas, but will soon be living in the San Diego area. I have already made plans to be available for interviews as of next week.
My most relevant accomplishments:
- Reviewed supplier agreements to accelerate XXXX and save 12% on XXXX.
- Optimized the XXXX heat transfer from the central plant to the AHU, which reduced XXXX by 34%.
- ... I hope we can soon meet to discuss how I could contribute to your organization’s objectives.