How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Examples
After weeks of heavy job search, you’re almost there!
You’ve perfected your resume.
You’ve short-listed the coolest jobs you want to apply for.
You’ve even had a friend train you for every single interview question out there.
But then, before you can send your application and call it a day, you remember that the job ad requires a cover letter.
Now you’re stuck wondering how to write a cover letter ...
Don’t panic! We’ve got you covered. Writing a cover letter is a lot simpler than you might think.
In this guide, we’re going to teach you how to write a cover letter that gets you the job you deserve.
- What’s a cover letter & why it’s important for your job search
- How to write a convincing cover letter that gets you the job (step-by-step!)
- How to perfect your cover letter with the Novoresume free checklist
- What excellent cover letter examples look like
New to cover letter writing? Give our resumes 101 video a watch before diving into the article!
So, let’s get started with the basics!
What is a Cover Letter? (and Why It’s Important)
A cover letter is a one-page document that you submit as part of your job application (alongside your CV or Resume).
Its purpose is to introduce you and briefly summarize your professional background. On average, your cover letter should be from 250 to 400 words long .
A good cover letter can spark the HR manager’s interest and get them to read your resume.
A bad cover letter, on the other hand, might mean that your application is going directly to the paper shredder. So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s essential to know how to write a convincing cover letter.
How does a good cover letter look, you might ask. Well, here’s an example:
Keep in mind, though, that a cover letter is a supplement to your resume, not a replacement. Meaning, you don’t just repeat whatever is mentioned in your resume.
If you’re writing a cover letter for the first time, writing all this might seem pretty tough. After all, you’re probably not a professional writer.
The thing is, though, you don’t need to be creative, or even any good at writing. All you have to do is follow a tried-and-tested format:
- Header - Input contact information
- Greeting the hiring manager
- Opening paragraph - Grab the reader’s attention with 2-3 of your top achievements
- Second paragraph - Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the job
- Third paragraph - Explain why you’re a good match for the company
- Formal closing
Or, here’s what this looks like in practice:
How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter (And Get Hired!)
Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, we’re going to guide you through the process of writing a cover letter step by step.
Step #1 - Pick the Right Cover Letter Template
A good cover letter is all about leaving the right first impression.
So, what’s a better way to leave a good impression than a well-formatted, visual template?
You can simply pick one of our hand-picked cover letter templates , and you’ll be all set in a jiffy!
As a bonus, our AI will even give you suggestions on how to improve your cover letter on the go.
Step #2 - Start the Cover Letter with a Header
As with a resume, it’s important to start your cover letter with a Contact Information section:
Here, you want to include all essential information, including:
- Phone Number
- Name of the hiring manager / their professional title
- Name of the company you’re applying to
In certain cases, you might also consider adding:
- Social Media Profiles - Any type of profile that’s relevant to your field. Social Profiles on websites like LinkedIn, GitHub (for developers), Medium (for writers), etc.
- Personal Website - If you have a personal website that somehow adds value to your application, you can mention it. Let’s say you’re a professional writer. In that case, you’d want to link to your blog.
And here’s what you shouldn’t mention in your header:
- Your Full Address
- Unprofessional Email - Make sure your email is presentable. It’s pretty hard for a hiring manager to take you seriously if your email address is “[email protected].” Whenever applying for jobs, stick to the “[first name] + [last name] @ email provider.com” format.
Step #3 - Greet the Hiring Manager
Once you’ve properly listed your contact information, you need to start writing the cover letter contents.
The first thing to do here is to address the cover letter to the hiring manager .
That’s right, the hiring manager! Not the overly popular “Dear Sir or Madam.” You want to show your future boss that you did your research and are really passionate about working with their team.
No one wants to hire a job seeker who just spams 20+ companies and hopes to get hired in any of them.
So, how do you find out who’s the hiring manager? There are several ways to do this.
The simplest option is to look up the head of the relevant department on LinkedIn. Let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Communication Specialist at Novoresume. The hiring manager is probably Head of Communications or Chief Communications Office.
So, you do a quick lookup on LinkedIn:
And voila! You have your hiring manager.
Or let’s say you’re applying for the position of a server. In that case, you’d be looking for the “restaurant manager.”
If this doesn’t work, you can also check out the “Team” page on the company website; there’s a good chance you’ll at least find the right person there.
Here are several other greetings you could use:
- Dear [Department] Hiring Manager
- Dear Hiring Manager
- To whom it may concern
- Dear [Department] Team
Step #4 - Write an Attention-Grabbing Introduction
First impressions matter, especially when it comes to your job search.
Recruiters get hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of applications. Chances are, they’re not going to be reading every single cover letter end-to-end.
So, it’s essential to catch their attention from the very first paragraph .
The #1 problem we see with most cover letter opening paragraphs is that they’re usually extremely generic. Most of them look something like this..
- Hey, my name is Jonathan and I’d like to work as a Sales Manager at XYZ Inc. I’ve worked as a sales manager at MadeUpCompany Inc. for 5+ years, so I believe that I’d be a good fit for the position.
See the issue here? This opening paragraph doesn’t say pretty much anything except the fact that you’ve worked the job before.
Do you know who else has similar work experience? All the other applicants you’re competing with.
Instead, you want to start off with 2-3 of your top achievements to really grab the reader’s attention. Preferably, the achievements should be as relevant as possible to the position.
So now, let’s make our previous example shine:
My name’s Michael and I’d like to help XYZ Inc. hit and exceed their sales goals as a Sales Manager. I’ve worked with Company X, a fin-tech company, for 3+ years. As a Sales Representative, I generated an average of $30,000+ in sales per month (beating the KPIs by around 40%). I believe that my previous industry experience, as well as excellence in sales, makes me the right candidate for the job.
See the difference between the two examples? If you were the hiring manager, which sales manager would you hire, Jonathan or Michael?
Now that we’ve covered the introduction, let’s talk about the body of your cover letter. This part is split into two paragraphs: the first is for explaining why you’re the perfect person for the job, and the latter is for proving that you’re a good fit for the company.
So, let’s get started...
Step #5 - Explain why you’re the perfect person for the job
This is where you show off your professional skills and convince the HR manager that you’re a better fit for the job than all the other applicants.
But first things first - before you even write anything, you need to learn what the most important requirements for the role are. So, open up the job ad and identify which of the responsibilities are the most critical.
For the sake of the example, let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Facebook Advertiser. You scan the job ad and see that the top requirements are:
- Experience managing a Facebook ad budget of $10,000+ / month
- Some skills in advertising on other platforms (Google Search + Twitter)
- Excellent copywriting skills
Now, in this section, you need to discuss how you fulfill these requirements. So, here’s how that would look for our example:
In my previous role as a Facebook Marketing Expert at XYZ Inc. I handled customer acquisition through ads, managing a monthly Facebook ad budget of $20,000+ . As the sole digital marketer at the company, I managed the ad creation & management process end-to-end. Meaning, I created the ad copy , images, picked the targeting, ran optimization trials, and so on.
Other than Facebook advertising, I’ve also delved into other online PPC channels, including:
- Google Search
Are you a student applying for your first internship? You probably don’t have a lot of work experience to show off in this section. Learn how to write an internship cover letter here.
Step #6 - Explain why you’re a good fit for the company
Once you’ve written the last paragraph, you might be thinking - I’m a shoo-in for the job! What else do I need to write? I’ll just wrap up the cover letter and hit that sweet SEND button.
Well, no. You’re not quite there yet.
The HR manager doesn’t only look at whether you’ll be good at the job or not. They’re looking for someone that’s also a good fit for the company culture.
After all, employees that don’t fit in are bound to quit, sooner or later. This ends up costing the company a ton of money, up to 50% of the employee’s annual salary .
Meaning, you also need to convince the HR manager that you’re really passionate about working with them.
How do you do this? Well, as a start, you want to do some research about the company. You want to know things like:
- What’s the company’s business model?
- What’s the company product or service? Have you used it?
- What’s the culture like? Will someone micro-manage your work, or will you have autonomy on how you get things done?
So, get to Googling. Chances are, you’ll find all the information you need either on the company website or somewhere around the web.
Then, you need to figure out what you like about the company and turn that into text.
Let’s say, for example, you’re passionate about their product and you like the culture of innovation / independent work in the organization.
You’d write something like:
I’ve personally used the XYZ Smartphone, and I believe that it’s the most innovative tech I’ve used in years. The features such as Made-Up-Feature #1 and Made-Up-Feature #2 were real game changers for the device.
I really admire how Company XYZ thrives for excellence for all its product lines, creating market-leading tech. As someone that thrives in a self-driven environment, I truly believe that I and Company XYZ will be a great match.
What you don’t want to do here is be super generic for the sake of having something to write. Most job seekers tend to mess this one up. Let’s take a look at a very common example we tend to see (way too often):
I’d love to work for Company XYZ because of its culture of innovation. I believe that since I’m super creative, I’d be a good fit for the company. The company values of integrity and transparency really vibe with me.
See what’s wrong here? The example doesn’t really say anything about the company. “Culture of Innovation” is something most companies claim to have.
The same goes for “values of integrity and transparency” - the writer just googled what the values for the organization are, and said that they like them.
Any hiring manager that reads this will see through the fluff.
So, make sure to do a lot of research and come up with good reasons why you're applying.
Step #7 - Wrap up with a call to action
Finally, it’s time to finish up your cover letter and write the conclusion.
In the final paragraph, you want to:
- Wrap up any points you couldn't in the previous paragraphs. Do you have anything left to say? Any other information that could help the hiring manager make their decision? Mention it here.
- Thank the hiring manager for their time. It never hurts to be courteous, as long as you don’t come off as too needy.
- Finish the cover letter with a call to action. The very last sentence in your cover letter should be a call to action. You should ask the hiring manager to take some sort of action.
And now, let’s turn this into a practical example:
So to wrap it all up, thanks for looking into my application. I hope I can help Company X make the most out of their Facebook marketing initiatives. I'd love to further discuss how my previous success at XYZ Inc. can help you achieve your facebook marketing goals.
Step #8 - Use the right formal closing
Once you’re done with the final paragraph, all you have to do is write down a formal “goodbye” and you’re good to go.
Feel free to use one of the most popular conclusions to a cover letter:
- Best Regards,
- Kind Regards,
And we’re finally done! Before sending off the cover letter, make sure to proofread it with software like Grammarly, or maybe even get a friend to review it for you.
Does your cover letter heading include all essential information?
- Professional email
- Relevant Social Media Profiles
Do you address the right person? I.e. hiring manager in the company / your future direct supervisor
Does your introductory paragraph grab the reader's attention?
- Did you mention 2-3 of your top achievements?
- Did you use numbers and facts to back up your experience?
Do you successfully convey that you’re the right pro for the job?
- Did you identify the core requirements?
- Did you successfully convey how your experiences help you fit the requirements perfectly?
Do you convince the hiring manager that you’re passionate about the company you’re applying to?
- Did you identify the top 3 things that you like about the company?
- Did you avoid generic reasons for explaining your interest in the company?
Did you finalize the conclusion with a call to action?
Did you use the right formal closure for the cover letter?
5+ Cover Letter Examples
Need some inspiration? Read on to learn about some of the best cover letter examples we’ve seen (for different fields).
College Student Cover Letter Example
Middle Management Cover Letter Example
Career Change Cover Letter Example
Management Cover Letter Example
Senior Executive Cover Letter Example
Want to discover more examples AND learn what makes them stand out? Check out our guide to cover letter examples .
Next Steps in Your Job Search - Creating a Killer Resume
Your cover letter is only as good as your resume. If either one is weak, your entire application is for naught.
After all, a cover letter is just an introduction. Imagine going through all this effort to leave an amazing first impression, but flopping at the end because of a mediocre resume.
...But don’t you worry, we’ve got you covered on that end, too.
If you want to learn more about Resumes & CVs, we have a dedicated FREE guide for that. Check out our complete guide on how to make a resume , as well as how to write a CV - our experts will teach you everything you need to know in order to land your dream job.
Or, if you’re already an expert, just pick one of our resume templates and get started.
Now that we’ve walked you through all the steps of writing a cover letter, let’s summarize everything we’ve learned:
- A cover letter is a 250 - 400 word document that convinces the hiring manager of your competence
- A cover letter goes in your job application alongside your resume
- Your introduction to the cover letter should grab the hiring manager’s attention and keep it all the way until the conclusion
- There are 2 main topics you need to include in your cover letter: why you’re the perfect candidate for the job & why you’re passionate about working in the company you’re applying to
- Most of the content of your cover letter should be factual , without any fluff or generalizations
At Novorésumé, we’re committed to helping you get the job you deserve, every step of the way! Follow our blog to stay up to date with the industry-leading advice. Or, check out some of our top guides…
- How to Write a Motivational Letter
- How to Write a Resume with No Work Experience
- Most Common Interview Questions and Answers
6 Cover Letter Introductions to Make a Great First Impression
The intro of your cover letter may be the hardest part. Here's are some ways to start off on the right foot.
By Katie Duncan Posted on January 5, 2022
Oftentimes, the hardest part of writing is simply getting started. This is especially true for crafting cover letters. With the pressure to impress, prove yourself as a worthy candidate, and set yourself apart from other applicants, it can feel like a lot is hanging on your cover letter introduction.
In this article, we’ll break down:
What is the purpose of a cover letter, what should you include in your cover letter, how to write a cover letter introduction, tips for crafting a strong cover letter.
A cover letter is a one-page document that employers often request alongside a resume. Cover letters recap your professional experience and background. It’s also your opportunity to tell employers about your passions, motivation, and enthusiasm for the position that you’re applying for.
The main goal of a cover letter is to grab the hiring manager’s attention. Chances are, they have a pile of resumes to sort through, so it’s important to take time to make your cover letter stand out. A 2021 survey from ResumeLab showed that 83% of hiring decision-makers say that a great cover letter could convince them to schedule an interview with an applicant— even if the applicant’s resume doesn’t stand out alone.
In general, a cover letter should include the following:
- Contact information: Include relevant contact information at the top of your cover letter, including your name, phone number, and email address.
- Greeting : Begin with a brief greeting to the hiring manager. If you know their name or can find it online, address them by name. If not, you can use a generic greeting such as “Dear Hiring Manager” or “To whom it may concern”.
- Introduction : We’ll talk more about the introduction below, but know that this section is where you’ll make your first impression!
- Your qualifications and experience : In the body of your cover letter, you’ll want to talk about your qualifications and experience. Be sure to cater this to the role you’re applying for. You want to really highlight qualifications that match what they are looking for in the job description.
- Your goals, passion, or motivation : It’s also important to briefly mention your goals, passions, or motivations for your line of work. This shows employers that you are enthusiastic about the work that you do and are excited to bring that gusto to their position.
- Conclusion : Wrap up your cover letter with a hopeful sentence thanking the employer for taking the time to consider your application.
- Closing and signature : End your cover letter with a professional closing such as “Sincerely,” and your name. If submitting a hard copy, leave room for your signature.
RELATED : Resumes 101: What to Put on Your Resume
Fortunately, there’s no one right way to approach a cover letter introduction. While you should be sure to include the information that we mentioned above, they are an opportunity to let your personality shine.
Hiring managers and recruiters can spot a pre-written cover letter a mile away, so stay away from templates where you simply fill in the blank. Instead, take time to craft a custom letter for the position that you are applying for.
1. Share your passion.
Do you have a burning passion for the work that you do? Showcase that right off the bat in your introduction. This is a great option if you don’t have a lot of job experience , as it gives you an opportunity to show enthusiasm for what you can accomplish rather than what you’ve already done.
“ As a child, well-meaning adults would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. My answer changed every time, but I soon found a common denominator in my answers— I wanted to help people. As a nurse, this passion to help people fuels me every day. It has driven me to create a student health clinic at my university, volunteer weekly at my local children’s hospital, and pursue two extra-curricular research projects as an undergrad.”
2. Showcase your humor or creativity.
This option may not be for all careers or positions, but if the role you’re applying for calls for creativity or a good sense of humor (such as a content writer or social media marketing manager), showcase your skills in your cover letter introduction. Tell a story or share an anecdote that demonstrates your creative flare.
“ Organizational skills? Check. My spreadsheets have spreadsheets. An eye for detail? Check. I once noticed a missing Oxford comma on a museum display while a T-rex was ominously standing over me. Humor and creativity? Check. In fourth grade, I wrote and directed a Christmas play that made Great Uncle Calvin laugh— and he doesn’t laugh. Ever.”
3. Highlight a major accomplishment.
While you’ll cover the basics in your resume, you may not have room to hit on all of your major accomplishments. If you have some quantifiable achievements to share, you can use them to hook the recruiter in your cover letter.
“ As a content creator, I strive to put the questions of our audience first. This belief has led me to grow our audience 250% over the past two years and produce three viral videos that resulted in $105k in sales. I believe that I can do this— and more— as the Associate Content Creator for Company ABC.”
4. Make a personal connection with a mutual contact.
If a former colleague or friend that works at the company referred you to this job, mentioning them in the cover letter can be a great way to make an instant connection.
“ I’m thrilled to apply to be the Marketing Manager at Company ABC. My former colleague, James Smith, recommended the position to me and felt that I could be a great addition to your marketing team.”
5. Share your guiding principles and beliefs.
Do you have a personal code that guides you in your career? A belief statement can give employers insight into what drives you day-to-day. Be sure that these principles are your own and not a rip-off of their own mission statement or core values.
“ In my ten years in retail manager roles, I have used the following guiding principle in my day-to-day life: make customers happy by putting employees first. When my employees are at their best, we are able to serve customers with positivity and enthusiasm. I believe that Company ABC could benefit from my managerial style.”
6. Show you’ve done your research and why you love the company.
Recruiters and hiring managers love when job candidates have done their research on the company. It shows that you’ve taken initiative, are eager to be a part of their team, and care about what the company does.
“I was thrilled to learn about this open position at Company ABC, as I’ve been following (and using) the MyHelper app since 2013. I am especially excited about the upcoming launch of your newest product— both as a user and because I believe that I could be a valuable addition to your team as you prepare to take it to market.”
RELATED: Prep for the Job You Want: What to Bring to an Interview
Keep the following points in mind when writing your cover letter.
1. Write (or at least edit) your cover letter for each job that you apply to.
If you’re applying for multiple jobs, don’t submit the exact cover letter for each job. Generic cover letters are easy to spot. Take the time to customize each letter. This will show recruiters that you’ve done your research, are passionate about their company, and really want this job— not just any job.
2. Don’t restate what’s on your resume.
There’s no sense in filling up valuable space in your cover letter with what’s already on your resume. Instead, use the space to connect dots, emphasize your value, and convey enthusiasm for the position.
3. Don’t apologize for skills that you don’t have.
Don’t draw attention to skills that you are lacking. Use any shortcomings as an opportunity to convey positive attributes. For example, don’t say you aren’t familiar with the software that the company uses. Instead, you can describe how you are a quick learner that is excited to learn their processes.
Finding the right job
Writing a cover letter introduction can be hard, but applying to a job you’re passionate about can make the task a little easier.
Here at JobSage, we’re setting out to build an employer review site around things that matter most to jobseekers— inclusion, growth, purpose, feedback, flexibility, and compensation. We want to help you find the right employer by getting answers to the questions you care about. Join JobSage for guidance in your job search or to leave a review for your current employer to create a more open, transparent conversation in and around the workplace.
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- Cover Letter Intro
How to Write an Effective Cover Letter Intro
Your cover letter intro is your first opportunity to grab the reader's attention and generate serious interest in your job application.
We show you how to start a cover letter by introducing yourself with conviction while shining a spotlight on the qualifications that make you an excellent fit for the job opportunity.
There are a number of ways to do this, we walk you through the process of developing a great introduction to your cover letter and provide effective examples of how to begin your cover letter.
5 key steps to write a good cover letter intro
1. Address the letter to someone by name
Get your cover letter off to the right start by ensuring your letter is addressed to an individual. Contact the company to get the full name, correct spelling and title of the person responsible for reviewing your resume.
Addressing your cover letter to "The Hiring Manager" or "To Whom it May Concern" immediately creates a disconnect between you and the reader.
2. Specify the job you are applying for
The hiring manager may be screening candidates for a number of different job openings so it is important to be explicit about the job you are applying for in your cover letter introduction.
3. Convey enthusiasm for the job
Show commitment from the word go by briefly articulating why you are excited about the job opportunity.
4. Highlight your suitability
Find out as much as you can about the job and company before writing your cover letter. You can then concisely introduce yourself as a well qualified candidate before going on to specify your relevant skills and experience in the body of your cover letter.
5. Tailor your cover letter intro for each job
Your introduction should be targeted to the specific job opportunity and company.
Good examples of how to introduce yourself in a cover letter
Specify the job opportunity and show your enthusiasm
Your online job posting regarding the ..... position immediately caught my eye and your company name caught my attention
Your recent job posting for the ..... position has captured my serious interest
I read your job description for the .... position with great enthusiasm
I was excited to read your ..... job posting
I was very pleased to learn of your need for a .....
Introduce yourself with conviction
I believe that I am particularly well qualified for this position, please allow me to highlight my skills as they relate to your requirements...
I believe that my qualifications and experience, as presented below, combine to create an excellent match for the position...
I am convinced that I have the skills and expertise to successfully fulfill your job needs...
The enclosed resume details my proven track record in a similar position, some key points you may find relevant include:
My previous work experience has equipped me with the skills and knowledge you are looking for, in particular ....
This position will utilize my extensive experience in ....
I am confident that I will make an immediate and valuable contribution to your company, my credentials for this job include:
As a results-driven professional I believe I am well suited to this job, highlights of my achievements include the following :
5 cover letter intro examples that get the results you want
Here are 5 effective ways to start your cover letter when you are submitting a job application..
1. Introduce yourself in a professional manner
Let the employer know you are a serious and well qualified candidate for the job by introducing yourself in a direct and straightforward way.
2. Introduce yourself with enthusiasm and conviction
Emphasize your genuine interest in the position and the company and state your confidence that you are an excellent candidate for the job.
3. Focus on your suitability for the job opportunity
Why are you a good match for the job? Let the company know what you can offer them in this position.
4. Articulate your passion for the job
Employers seek individuals who show genuine passion for the work they are doing. Combined with the right skills, passion is a top driver of success in a job.
5. What makes you the best candidate for the job?
Use your cover letter intro to differentiate yourself from the competition. Start with a relevant and impressive accomplishment or skill that puts you ahead of the pack.
Once you have grabbed the reader's attention with a powerful cover letter intro, the next step is to maintain interest and create the desire to learn more about you.
This is achieved in the body of your cover letter which brings attention to the skills, knowledge, expertise, achievements, qualifications and experience that make you a successful candidate for this specific position. It is a concise and compelling summary of what makes you the right job candidate.
You can use the structure of this cover letter template to help you with this next step.
In addition we have over 50 sample cover letters for different jobs that you can easily adapt for your own use.
Closing your cover letter
How you close your cover letter is as important as how you start it.
It is essential to end with the right message and ensure the reader takes action and continues on to read your resume with serious interest.
Find out how to close a cover letter strongly with good examples.
Everything you need to write a powerful cover letter
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Gain a good understanding of the job requirements
In order to write an effective cover letter intro it is essential that you have a clear understanding of the job opportunity. Use these complete job descriptions to help you with this.
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How to Write a Cover Letter Introduction (Examples)
- Post author By Rachel Pelta
Cover letters are still a crucial part of applying for the job. And no matter how you feel about writing one, sometimes the most intimidating part is the blank screen and blinking cursor daring you to get started!
While you have a whole page to talk about why you’re the perfect fit for the role , coming up with something other than “please accept my application for…” can be kind of tough! But we’re here to help you out with some creative solutions for writing your cover letter introduction.
How to Start a Cover Letter
1. kick off with passion.
One great way to start your cover letter is by talking about your passion for the job. This helps the hiring manager see you as someone who cares deeply about the role and is more likely to be engaged with the position and the company for a long time.
Example : I wrote my first short story when I was six and branched out into chapter books by the time I was 10. The following year, I used the family printer to self-publish and distribute my biography to everyone I knew. Though my early years of publishing did not lead to a six-figure book deal, I’ve always enjoyed writing fantastic content and sharing it with the world.
2. Mention Your Enthusiasm
The job may not be the only reason why you’re applying. You may strongly identify with the company’s mission, or perhaps you used its products and services in the past. If that’s the case, call it out in your cover letter introduction, as the company is more likely to hire someone who “gets” what they’re doing.
Example : I’m a long-time user of [product name]. It’s helped me create powerful presentations that clients connect with. Thankfully, creating these stellar presentations does not require a lot of technical skills, and I’ve come to rely on the simplicity of the product to make my job easier. It’s not often I get to work for a company that’s created a product I use almost every day, so when I saw the opening for the [name of position], I had to apply!
3. Describe Your Accomplishments
Talking about what you’ve achieved in past roles helps the hiring manager picture you in the role achieving similar goals at their company! Use the start of your cover letter to highlight one accomplishment that demonstrates you’re a fantastic candidate for the job.
Example : I’ve spent the last seven years optimizing my company’s website. My hard work and attention to detail have resulted in a 78% increase in year-over-year traffic (not to mention a 45% increase in sign-ups). I’m looking for my next challenge, and I believe I’ll find it at [company name] as your [name of position].
4. Drop a Name
This isn’t like name-dropping during an interview . In your cover letter introduction, mention a company contact if you have one. Hiring managers are much more likely to consider you for a position if someone who works there drops your name! Just make sure you and your contact are on the same page before you proceed!
Example : [Contact name] and I worked together at [X] company. It was the first job for both of us right out of college! We learned a lot, and even though we’ve both moved on, we’ve kept in touch. [Name] recently reached out to me about the opening for [name of position]. Hearing them describe the job and talk about the company, I knew I had to apply.
5. Tell a Story
Telling a story about yourself is a great way to bring a bit of your personality into the cover letter. You can even consider adding some humorous elements. But since not every company has the same definition of “funny,” do a deep dive into the company’s culture as part of your research before you take the humor route!
Example : I started college majoring in undecided with a minor in partying. After several tries, I finally settled on communications and ended up in a career writing press releases for a small pharmaceutical company. The job was stable and paid the bills, but after a few years, I realized I missed the party aspect of my old minor. That’s why I’m very interested in the event planning role with [company name]. It’s the perfect mix of everything I learned in college.
6. Short and Sweet
Sometimes, none of the above suggestions work. For example, if you’re applying for a role as a lawyer or at a bank, you may want to go with a straightforward opening and use the rest of your cover letter to discuss why you’re qualified for the role.
Example : I’m applying for the position of [name of role with company name]. I’m confident that my [X] years of experience in [name of career field] will be an asset to your team.
Get the Ball Rolling
Here’s one more tip: save the introduction for last! Instead of worrying about how you’ll start, jump right into the “meat” of your cover letter. You might be surprised to find that the introduction writes itself after that.
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Russians With Western Ties Increasingly Branded ‘Traitors’
Friends Read Free
MOSCOW—When Gennady Kravtsov sent a cover letter to a Swedish company, he reasoned that, even if a job didn’t come of it, he at least would know whether his engineering skills were valued outside Russia.
Instead, he found himself charged with treason and facing a possible 15 years in prison.
Kravtsov worked for Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency from 1990 to 2005 as a radio engineer in satellite intelligence. For five years after he quit, he was barred from leaving Russia or taking certain security jobs because of the sensitive nature of the work. But when that period was up he sent a cover letter to a Swedish company he found online. Nothing ever came of it.
In 2013, Russian counter-intelligence officers asked Kravtsov about the contact, and last year grabbed him on the street and threw him in jail.
The Russian government increasingly has portrayed any cooperation with foreign companies or nationals as a potential security threat, a throwback to Soviet times when any interaction with foreigners aroused suspicion. The eclectic group of Russians charged with treason this year includes a mother of seven, a Sochi traffic controller, a Black Sea Fleet sailor, a Siberian police major, a Russian Orthodox Church employee, a Moscow university lecturer and a retired nuclear scientist. The variety of suspects is not in itself evidence of a harsher crackdown, but Russia is clearly widening its net on treason and hauling in the most people in years.
Nine people, including Kravtsov, were arrested in Moscow in 2014 on suspicion of treason, according to the Moscow City Court. Across Russia, 15 people were convicted of treason last year, nearly four times as many as the year before, Russian Supreme Court data show.
The stepped up campaign against suspected traitors follows a Kremlin move in 2012 to expand the definition of treason to include undefined “assistance” to a foreign government, which rights activists have warned could lead to abuse.
“If you look at it, any person who has talked to a foreigner and said something bad about the government can be sent to prison,” said veteran human rights defender Lev Ponomarev.
Kravtsov’s lawyer, Ivan Pavlov, has handled treason cases for 20 years, but he has never had as many clients as he has now.
“They look for enemies and they find them. These are various people, from a breastfeeding mother to former intelligence agents,” Pavlov said. “The mood in law enforcement agencies, how aggressive they are, their zeal to intensify their search and prosecute (more people) stem from the developments in Ukraine and Russia’s position in the world.”
He said “every single treason case” he has seen recently has a connection to the crisis in Ukraine — where the government is fighting a pro-Russia insurgency — either because the person had traveled there or had some personal ties.
Russia is returning to old Cold War tactics in other ways as well. In July, the Nizhny Novgorod State University fired its vice rector, an American who had lived in Russia for two decades, after a state television program criticized him for hanging portraits of American scientists on university walls. When state media seek to discredit Russia’s marginalized opposition, they often accuse them of being too cozy with Western diplomats.
It is the treason campaign that perhaps most evokes the repression of the Soviet era.
“At first I thought he was the only ’spy' in prison,” said Kravtsov’s wife, Alla Kravtsova. “Then I realized it was a war-time campaign. A campaign to catch spies had begun and Gena was at the right time in the right place with his stupid letter.”
Pavlov is barred from discussing details of Kravtsov’s case, but he said that prosecutors are accusing his client of revealing his job description at the GRU, as well as information about the military capability of the Tselina-2 radio surveillance system. Kravtsov’s defense argued that since the satellite, invented in the 1970s, has not been in use since 2000, information about it should not be classified. The lawyer himself has been kept in the dark about much of the case, he said, and the defense was helpless since the government list of classified information is classified as well.
Kravtsov’s case was heard at the Moscow City Court, with the trial proceeding behind closed doors. Kravtsov’s wife turned up at every hearing, even though she was not allowed in. She stood outside, straining to listen through the door and waiting to get a glimpse of her husband whenever it opened.
Prosecutors on Monday asked the court to sentence the 47-year-old Kravtsov to 15 years in prison. The verdict is expected next Monday.
Kravtsov, a father of two, quit his GRU job in 2005 because he felt that the military intelligence agency was wasting money and his talent, his wife said. He got a job at a think tank in Moscow, but once the five-year ban on travel and employment in security-related jobs expired, he started exploring other options.
His wife said he sent a letter to the Swedish firm, using an online program to translate it into English, and soon got a reply that the company was not interested.
“He just wanted to find out whether his skills were in demand elsewhere or he should get new training and work somewhere else,” Kravtsova said.
In 2013, he wrote one more letter, “a cry for help,” as his wife described it. She said he mailed a letter addressed to the Belarusian defense minister saying he was frustrated with the decline of his field in Russia and wanted a job in Belarus, a former Soviet republic that remains a close ally of Moscow.
A few months later, in July 2013, Russian counter-intelligence officers approached him on the street.
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“They came for him, showed him their ID on the street, as in Stalinist times,” Kravtsova said. “They didn’t even let him go home, but put him in the car and took him to their office.”
She said the FSB officers asked him about the email to Sweden and seized his computer the same evening. For the next year, Kravtsov dutifully answered the investigators’ calls and went to meet with them whenever they asked, although there were no charges against him. His wife said the investigators told him he was free to travel, but just after the family bought a package tour to Greece, Kravtsov was arrested on the street, his arms pinned behind his back.
The FSB, the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, did not respond to a written request for comment.
Both of Kravtsov’s children, 4-year-old Vasilisa and 8-year-old Anton, know that their father is in prison. His wife said that when Anton was asked in school why his father no longer comes to pick him up, the boy said: “He’s in prison, but don’t be afraid, he’s a political one.”
Pavlov thinks that senior Kremlin officials no longer have to send orders to their subordinates to crack down on dissent or to be on the lookout for spies, because the political system has taken on a life of its own.
“Every official on every level, from investigators to judges, they feel it; they don’t need anyone to pick up the phone and call them,” the lawyer said. “Everyone knows what to do.”
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