By Jimmy Sweeney
When it comes to writing a cover letter, the experts advise you to make it short—using fewer rather than more words, succinct––clear and focused on your key points, and sincere––writing from your heart and mind.
Good advice! But how are you to accomplish this task? By giving your cover letter a job, that's how. Make it work for you. Your cover letter should:
- Greet the hiring manager.
Dear Mr3:13 PM 5/18/2012. or Ms. . . .
- Give the location of the job ad where you learned about the position.
I appreciate your posting the job description on CareerJimmy.com. I knew at once when I saw. . .
- Introduce youself to the hiring manager.
I'm a Certified Public Accountant looking for a new position in your city . . .
- Present your skills.
In addition to my accountancy skills I am known as an excellent
communicator and a strong leader with business savvy and tech
know-how—abilities that I recognize are important to you.
- Mention your prior work experience.
I was employed at the Adams-McKinley Accountancy Firm as Vice President for the past five years . . .
- Display your ability to communicate clearly.
Mastering creative problem-solving skills is one of my primary goals. My
priority is to examine information, interpret it, and find creative
solutions within a framework of responsibility, ethics and honesty.
- Demonstrate your knowledge of the company.
I have wanted to work for Preston and Bates Brokerage House for the past
five years and have groomed myself so that when an opportunity to
interview for an opening came up, I'd be ready. I respect the vision of
your firm—to serve the customer first, last, and always.
- Refer to your enclosed resume.
For specific details about my work experience please see my enclosed resume.
- State your educational background.
I earned my CPA degree from San Diego State University in San Diego, California in 2003.
- Request an interview.
May I meet with you to talk over this important position and how I can
contribute to your company and take care of your customers?
- Include your contact information and availability.
I'd be happy to meet you at your convenience any afternoon from one
o'clock on. Please phone or email me at my home using the contact
- Express your gratitude for reading the letter. Thank you for taking time to read my cover letter and for considering me for an interview.
As soon as the cover letter is complete, review it once or twice to see if it did the job. If not, call for overtime. Go through it again step by step, making sure that every word, every sentence, every paragraph and every point is written in the clearest way possible so that when the letter reaches a hiring manager, he or she will know at a glance that you are the person most fit to fill the job opening.
A cover letter that does its job will help you do your job when the call comes in with the words you're eager to here. "You're hired!"