Do you struggle with what to say in your cover letters/emails? In a recent post, I provided a formula for how to write a cover letter. Now I want to show you some real-world examples, so that you can see how you can put the principles into practice. (If you haven’t read that article, I suggest reading it now as the examples will make more sense).
The first letter was written for an administrative assistant, the second for a sales executive, and you will see that each is different in approach. But fundamentally they follow the same principle which is the one I preach over and over again. You must a) understand the needs and concerns of your target audience, b) identify why you are uniquely qualified to meet those needs and c) make that connection for the employer.
Let’s look first at the letter written for the administrative assistant. (To see a larger version, click on the image twice).
Notice how the letter addresses many of the common issues facing executive assistants such as the need to work for multiple managers, the need to handle confidential matters and the skills required to organize heavy workloads.
Now look at the letter for the sales executive.
Here results are what count, and this letter clearly demonstrates that the sender has relevant experience. In fact, rather than describing his skills, this letter focuses on outlining how he solved a specific problem (one that he knows is also plaguing this company). This letter will grab the attention of recipients because it is so carefully targeted, and because it is packed with impressive results.
It’s all about appealing to specific needs
Each of these cover letter examples works because the applicants truly understand the needs of their target audience. Generic cover letters have no impact whatsoever, but you can open doors very effectively by taking the time to craft an email or letter that shows how you can solve specific problems.
I hope these letters have inspired you to revisit your own and given you ideas for improvement. Good luck!
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Louise co-founded Blue Sky in 2002 after a career as an HR executive. Her industry experience includes music, video games, fashion and advertising. She lived and worked in the US for many years, but moved back to her native UK in 2012, where she now lives in the Yorkshire countryside. In addition to her full-time role with Blue Sky, she's a professional artist, so you can imagine why she couldn't answer the 'what do you do with your free time' question! Contact Louise by email.
About the Author
Sample cover letter for Internship position at target
I am a second year student at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and will be graduating with my Juris Doctor in April 2014. Please accept my cover letter, resume, undergraduate academic transcript, and statement of law school grades as my application for a summer position at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP (Fasken Martineau).
I am interested in working for Fasken Martineau because of your reputation for excellence in numerous legal practice areas. Having always possessed a keen interest in litigation, I feel that the diversity of high- quality commercial and civil litigation services offered by Fasken Martineau makes your firm an excellent place for me to pursue this interest. I am also interested in competition law, and mergers and acquisitions, and Fasken Martineau's proficiency in these practice areas would provide a great means to pursue my interests. I was fortunate to speak with Jane Smith at this year's Career Fair, and she informed me of the teamwork atmosphere of your firm as well as the flexible and tailored summer programs. Together with the secondment opportunity offered to summer students that was recently described to me at the Resume and Interview Workshop I attended, these qualities make working for Fasken Martineau of foremost interest to me.
My extracurricular, employment and educational experiences have equipped me with personal and professional skills that will enable me to positively perform as a summer student and into the future at Fasken Martineau. My interest in litigation guided my decision to explore different areas of advocacy during my first year of law school. For example, I volunteered as a caseworker in the criminal law division at Downtown Legal Services, where I had the opportunity to gain practical advocacy and litigation skills. I also participated in the Trial Advocacy program. This experience enabled me to hone my legal argumentation and verbal reasoning skills. My previous work in the restaurant service industry has facilitated the strengthening of my interpersonal and communication skills. During this past summer, I enhanced the legal research and writing skills I learnt during my last year of academic study as a research assistant at a law firm. Lastly, my undergraduate and law school education thus far, has taught me that I enjoy intellectual challenges and that I can effectively manage my time.
While it is early in my legal career, I am eager to use my strengths, skills and keen willingness to learn on behalf of you and your clients. I am confident that my strong work ethic, goal-oriented and client-focused attitude, and compassionate disposition will enable me to make a valuable contribution to Fasken Martineau. I look forward to any opportunity to discuss potential employment with you. Thank you for your time and consideration.
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