I applied to 100+ jobs and didn’t receive a single interview in my first two years of university.
I changed my cover letter format and landed interviews at 8 firms last year!
Here’s the outline I followed 👇
✔️ Highlight three skills from the job description that you can bring to the team
Example: "I'm excited to bring my problem solving, analytical, and communication skills to the team."
Rationale: This clearly outlines three relevant skills you will discuss in your body paragraphs. The person reviewing your resume will be looking for candidates with these skills from the job description.
✔️ Mention why you’re interested in the company and the role
Example: "I am drawn to work for [Company] after speaking with [1-2 names of people you networked with] and learning about [Something specific that you learned from the conversation]."
Rationale: This shows you've done your research and spoken with employees to learn more about the role and the company. It also could lead to the person reviewing your resume asking the people you networked with to provide their opinion of you.
💡 Body (3 paragraphs, 1 for each skill)
✔️ Illustrate how the skill will be useful in the role
Example: "As a consultant, I will give presentations to internal and client stakeholders."
Rationale: Identifying why the skill is important for the role shows you understand the responsibilities and will act as a good reminder for the person reading your resume.
✔️ Highlight an experience that demonstrates your proficiency with that skill.
Example: "During my time as a volunteer at Charity XYZ, I presented my findings for a strategy to grow the donor pool by 1.5x to five senior leaders. My recommendations were all implemented and led to a record-high number of donors during the recent campaign."
Rationale: This concisely demonstrates that you possess the required skill and have essentially "done the job before."
✔️ Ask for an interview
Example: "I look forward to sharing more about myself and my experiences in an interview!"
Rationale: Explicitly mentioning an interview has a psychological effect on the person reading your resume, making them more inclined to give you one!
✔️ Say thanks
Example: "Thank you so much for your consideration."
Rationale: Thanking people for their time can go a long way and is simply a nice thing to do!
Many people make their cover letters all about themselves and don’t put enough focus on the role and the company. By explicitly and concisely mentioning how your skill set will bring value to the role and the company, you are making the recruiter/hiring manager’s life much easier to envision you succeeding in the role.
Here's the downloadable cover letter template for you to edit:
Need an extra set of eyes on your cover letter before you submit? I've screened 250+ applications and can provide tailored feedback within 2 business days. Request unlimited cover letter rewrites or the standard package (includes unlimited resume rewrites, LinkedIn profile support, and my LinkedIn course):
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