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The Purpose of a Cover Letter

A well-known rule in sales is that you must make it easy for the buyer to buy.  No one wants to sift through an 18 page resume to find the gold among the sand. This is why the cover letter is such an important tool for selling yourself.  Your cover letter does the job of highlighting – for the client – the most important pieces of information in your resume.  The cover letter makes it easy for the client to quickly figure out what makes you a better candidate than the 10 others they are considering. Using this simple formula, you can write a compelling cover letter that grabs their attention and holds it.

  • Paragraph 1: Introduce yourself. Reference the position you are applying. It’s fine that this section is only 1 or 2 sentences (maximum.)

  • Paragraph 2: Sell yourself and say “I can offer you XX years of XX experience within the XX industry” and end the sentence describing why you are the ideal candidate like “XX is a company well known for XX and those XX map well to my own personal philosophy of XX.”

  • Paragraph 3: Close it up. “I welcome the chance to speak with you about XX and have enclosed my resume for your review. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read this.”

  • Close Properly:  Use a considerate and professional valediction: Best regards, With thanks, Sincerely, and Looking forward to hearing from you, are all excellent choices for a strong close.

A solid cover letter is most effective when it is short, simple, and properly mapped to the exact role for which the candidate is applying. When done correctly, it often becomes the summary email that staffing agencies use to sell your services to the end client. What is the best cover letter you’ve ever seen?