Archive for the ‘Letter-Writing Tips’ Category

A More Compelling Cover Letter

Friday, August 5th, 2011

lionCover letters are often the most challenging part of a job application. Job hunters find it difficult to quantify their skills and abilities in a way that sounds humble yet assertive, compelling and worthy of response. At Beaumont Hardy, I have helped many job applicants craft succinct and well-written cover letters.

What follows are two versions of the same cover letter. The first is the original, unedited one:

Dear Ms. ——-:

I would like to apply to the Administrative Assistant position that you advertised. I am a well-organized person who appreciates order and organization. I think I would be a good addition to your staff in the Administrative Assistant position.

I graduated from ——- College with a degree in Accounting, and I had a 3.9 GPA throughout college. I was always well-organized, and I led many campus organizations at the time: The Tri-Tones (an a capella trio), the campus debate team and the wrestling team.

You mentioned that the Administrative Assistant would need to be able to file and keep track of orders that come in. You also said that the Administrative Assistant should answer phones and answer questions that clients ask. I would be good at all of these tasks, as well as being a self-starter and able to work with minimal guidance.

Thank you very much.

The second version is the letter after editing:

Dear Ms. ——-:

Please consider my application for the Administrative Assistant position at your company. I understand that the position requires strong organizational skills and a keen appreciation for order. I have excellent organizational abilities and believe I am an ideal candidate for the Administrative Assistant position.

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from ——- College, where I maintained a 3.9 GPA throughout my four years. Because of my leadership abilities and sense of organization, I became the head of three campus organizations: the ——- College debate team, the varsity wrestling team and an a capella trio.

I can effectively transfer the skills I developed in these leadership roles to the Administrative Assistant position. I am a self-starter and am able to complete tasks with minimal guidance. I enjoy interacting with coworkers and clients and can answer telephones and client questions cheerfully and professionally. I am also an efficient filer and can responsibly keep track of incoming orders. I am a strong candidate for a position that requires motivation and organization.

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to hearing from you.

The second version of the letter highlights the applicant’s skills in a well-organized and interesting way. It expresses an understanding of the requirements for the job and closes with an indication of the applicant’s continuing interest.

Please let me know what you think of these two versions and which you think works better.