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Something like:

Hi! [or, "Dear hiring Manager"] I found the position really resonates with me and my career goals. I believe I could be a strong candidate because I have experience in X, Y and Z. Please check my experience E on my resume.

Feel free to reach out to me to have a chat and get to know each other.

Best,

XXX

Any inputs, suggestions, critics are appreciated.

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  • Which position? Don't forget to include the job title at least, or the job requisition number. Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 0:15
  • 1
    Long cover letters tend to open the door to bs. They can be very tiring to read and invite rejection. Not that they can't be good, but that the mistaken belief that you need a minimum word count makes meaningless, aggravating fluff more likely. Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 13:20

4 Answers 4

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The cover letter is often misunderstood, but it's actually quite simple

  • Your resume describes you and your experiences (same for all jobs)
  • The job descriptions describes the job and the requirements (same for all candidates)
  • The Cover Letter connects the two (custom for each job)

In the cover letter you describe how you meet the requirements (or not) by connecting them to specific line items on your resume. There is no need to get overly wordy or flowery. One sentence per requirement is fine. You can even do this as a table.

Keep in mind that in many cases the first person who sees your application is an HR staffer who does a first round of requirement checking to weed out the obvious misfits. These people often don't have a deep understanding of technical details of the job or the environment. If you do the work for them, they'll love you for it and it increases the chances for your application to actually get to the hiring manager.

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  • "you describe how you meet the requirements (or not)" — regarding this I had a long-standing worry. I came to think about this situation like, the hiring manager, or whoever approves the hire must thereafter remain responsible for that decision. E.g., if the employee later causes damage, the hiring manager's decision to hire the person could be attacked in retrospect: "This person declared their unfitness up front. Heeding this warning could have prevented the damage." For this reason I worry to mention any shortfalls in the CL, even if common sense or honesty would suggest to. Thoughts?
    – Levente
    Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 22:47
  • @Levente: Open and honest is always the best approach. No one meets 100% of all requirements and a good interview team will double check everything anyway. So you might as well get it on the table up front. Every new hire has probation or onboarding period where there is plenty of safeguards in place to prevent damage. That's where you learn way more about a person than in an interview. If there are potential problem areas, the hiring manager will have to deal with it same as with any other employee
    – Hilmar
    Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 11:03
  • I like this answer as it makes clear what a cover letter is for in theory. I would only add that it has fallen out of fashion somewhat - most employers are inundated with paperwork, and expect a short CV itself to demonstrate a clear link to the job profile, and then build on that at interview. Where the practice still exists for anything but the most senior corporate positions, it is often a sign of a pretentious and old-fashioned mentality (in the worst sense), or an outright attempt to filter candidates by whether they put the work into writing one (with its final content unimportant).
    – Steve
    Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 13:07
  • @Steve: YMMV. In my experience the main target of the cover letter is the first round of interview screening which is often done by HR staffers that know little about the job and the slang. Many a good resume has been screened out since the staffer wasn't able to connect the entries on the CV with the requirements. Once your CV gets to the hiring manager, you are fine, but getting there in the first place is the tricky bit.
    – Hilmar
    Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 15:02
  • @Hilmar, it's a good point. However my thinking would be that if you're facing that many other candidates where a reasonable CV might be crudely filtered like that, then I would not waste additional time on that particular employer (because your odds are clearly low, and such competition will have squeezed any quality out of what you could be ultimately offered), and instead use the available time and effort to send out more CVs to other employers.
    – Steve
    Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 16:03
3

The point of a cover letter is to highlight things that aren't on your resume. Your resume should already say you have experience in X, Y, and Z. Why are those experiences relevant to the role? What is it about the position that resonates with you and your career goals? Why should the hiring manager make sure to look at your resume?

It's ok to be concise in your cover letter. You don't want it to be so long they don't bother reading it. Mine tends to be about 3 paragraphs long, and some might say that's even too long. But don't just rehash information that is already in your resume. Your cover letter should say why the information in your resume makes you a good candidate.

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  • "Why should the hiring manager make sure to look at your resume" I don't understand.. how do I convince him/her to look at my resume?
    – Bersan
    Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 22:12
  • @Bersan "how do I convince them to look at my resume?" One idea: you could demonstrate that you understand their pain / tension, and that you are capable of easing it. By pain I mean that the company is losing money because they could not equip a workstation with a worker. This issue is now pressing on the shoulder of the hiring manager, and the overworked workers in the department. You could create an impression of being able to offer a relief to this situation, by knowing how to jump into that seat and knowing what to do there that will help the department's production back on track...
    – Levente
    Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 22:30
3

Tldr

A cover is not normally required for hiring in most kinds of occupations, except to explain an unsolicited approach.

OP's example

I have to admit I find the example given quite bad. It is worded with fluff, it has a tone of considerable informality, and for anyone reading it it is probably a complete waste of time compared to if they had just proceeded to read the CV.

So I would suggest that providing no cover letter would be a better option than providing anything like the example, unless it's the job to be informal and talk empty fluff (to your own would-be employer, I mean).

The past

The notion of a cover letter is really a vestige of the hiring practices of large corporations decades ago.

You couldn't just send a CV to a central hiring manager or personnel department, and expect them to know what your CV related to. You had to explain what position you were applying for. The letter might not even be opened by the principal in the first place.

And it also wasn't easy to retailor CVs. People often had several copies typed up at once on a typewriter - changes required access to machinery, a replanning and resetting of layout, and time and concentration to re-enter a few pages of text accurately.

The cover letter allowed people to scribble the introductory information, provide a few relevant bullet points which may not have been in the CV itself, and articulate other niceties in an era when written communication was regarded as more formal.

It's also worth nothing that back then there were alternative practices in smaller businesses, or in occupations where this level of sophistication couldn't be expected. Usually, a chat with the candidate, and then a chat with his current/most recent boss.

A short written application letter - as the primary document, not covering a separate CV - might have been expected for some routine positions where clerical competence was expected. The quality of handwriting would probably have counted for as much as the content.

Today

Nowadays, job boards organise the introductory information that would have been in a cover letter - there is no need to include a cover letter on top when applying by these means.

And computerised CVs are easily modified - employers generally expect the CV to be produced so as to be sufficiently relevant and appropriate, not for candidates to act as if their CVs are fixed documents, which they then supplement with yet another document.

When a cover is required

The only time a decent cover would be required, would be if you were making a completely unsolicited approach by email, where it can't be assumed there is a process in place to gather CVs for later review, or for the recipient to even understand why you've contacted them.

Here, an immediate explanation of your motive is required, and niceties required to urge the recipient to read or retain your CV, which they weren't expecting to have to handle.

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There's straight to the point and then there is lazy/low effort.

I read yours as the latter.

Generally in a Cover letter, I will always look at the Company Website first and reference something from the Company. Can be a particular technology stack, could be corporate ethics, could be mission statement - whatever it is.

Your CV tells me what skills and experience you have, your cover letter should tell me why you want to work with/for me.

In your specific example - why does the position really resonate with you? Give me 1-2 reasons that you are excited for the role. Again, doesn't have to be overly verbose - no mentioning of your pet goldfish that died when you were 7, but likewise - a couple of sentences is perfectly fine - consider:

"This opportunity really resonates me as your statement on your website is 'We really love making money' and I really like making money too. I noticed as well that one of your marquee customers is a Government entity and I would like exposure to working with the public sector"

Just a couple of sentences is all you need.

A more general form of a Cover letter is:

A paragraph as to why you want to work with/for them.
A paragraph outlining your relevant experience for the role.
A last paragraph talking about the future - e.g. what you could do for them.

Going back to your example:

"I believe I am the best suited candidate for this position (note, always use absolutes, using conditionals makes your writing weak) because I have 5 years experience in the industry and the relevant qualifications. I also have an addition year experience in related industry that gives me a unique perspective."

This is your experience line - it's an overview of your CV - highlighting the relevant parts.

Finally:

"With my skills, I look forward to leverage technology stack to drive better customer retention, leading to more consistent long-term income for the company and decreasing the costs associated with acquiring new customers"

Final line - what is it you want to do? What is your vision for your work at the company? What journey do you want to go on with our business relationship?

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  • "Give me 1-2 reasons that you are excited for the role." - point of curiosity, do you actually work somewhere where candidates on the whole get excited about your job before you've even acknowledged their application?
    – Steve
    Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 16:27
  • @Steve - Within reason, yes. I mean - we aren't talking about jumping up and down in excitement - however in reference to the OPs example 'really reasonates' is pretty excited - whether it's working for a big-name player in the industry, or you've heard good things about the company - you are always interested to some degree in working there. Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 18:23

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