here’s a real-life example of a great cover letter (with before and after versions!)

I had sworn off sharing more examples of real-life resumes and cover letters for a while because when I’ve done it in the past, I’ve found it supremely frustrating that people want to tear them apart and quibble with details. But a reader just sent me a cover letter that I can’t resist posting, especially because it comes with a “before” version and the “after” version she created after reading the cover letter advice here. As she says herself, the difference is dramatic.

I present it here with these caveats, borne of experience with previous samples:

  • The writer has kindly allowed me to share this here as a favor, after I asked her permission. Please remember she’s a real person when you’re commenting.
  • This writer’s voice is her voice. It will not be your voice, and that’s part of the point.
  • There is no single cover letter in the world that all hiring managers will love or that would be the right fit for every employer and every industry, and that is surely true of this one too. But I love it, and I receive letters every week from people telling me that moving in this sort of direction worked for them.
  • Do not steal this and make it your own. It works because it’s so customized to the writer. It’s intended for inspiration only — to provide an example of what all the advice here can look like in practice.

(And to protect the writer’s privacy, I changed her name, the name of the employer, and other identifying details.)

Before Version

Here’s the before version. It reads like 95% of the cover letters out there. Like those other 95%, it basically says, “I know I need a cover letter, so here are some paragraphs of blah.” You can imagine multiple candidates for this position submitting this letter; there’s nothing especially personalized about it.

Dear Hiring Manager:

Your posting on LinkedIn for a Sales and Marketing Coordinator recently caught my eye, and I think you will find I am an exceptional candidate for this position.

I am an accomplished administrative professional and a junior in the Marketing & Management program at Riverrun University. Over the past ten years, I have provided high-level support in a variety of industries and across multiple functional areas. I am now seeking a position that will make the most of my administrative experience while offering additional opportunities for personal and professional development.

In exchange, I offer exceptional attention to detail, highly developed communication skills, and a talent for managing complex projects with a demonstrated ability to prioritize and multitask.

My accomplishments and qualifications are further detailed in the attached resume. I welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss the value that I can bring to your organization.

Warmest regards,

Catelyn Stark

After Version

Here’s the after version. It’s awesome. It tells us who the candidate is and why she’s great at what she does. And she’s genuinely enthusiastic. This isn’t a generic letter; it’s a letter about her.

Dear Hiring Manager:

It is with great enthusiasm that I submit my application for the position of Sales Coordinator for the Westeros Castle Project. As an administrative professional with over ten years’ experience, I know my diverse skills and qualifications will make me an asset to the Westeros project team.

As you will see from the attached resume, I’ve built my career in a variety of roles and industries, mostly in small companies where I was not just the admin but also gatekeeper, technology whiz, bookkeeper and marketing guru. I’m not only used to wearing many hats, I sincerely enjoy it; I thrive in an environment where no two work days are exactly the same.

In addition to being flexible and responsive, I’m also a fanatic for details – particularly when it comes to presentation. One of my recent projects involved coordinating a 200-page grant proposal: I proofed and edited the narratives provided by the division head, formatted spreadsheets, and generally made sure every line was letter-perfect and that the entire finished product conformed to the specific guidelines of the RFP. (The result? A five-year, $1.5 million grant award.) I believe in applying this same level of attention to detail to tasks as visible as prepping the materials for a top-level meeting and as mundane as making sure the copier never runs out of paper.

Last but certainly not least, I want you to know that I’m a passionate Westeros fan and a longtime supporter of the new castle. I’ve been following the new castle movement since the earliest days of the original “Save the Tombs” campaign, and I am so excited to see this vision becoming a reality. I’ve already checked out the new castle website, and the renderings of the new throne and great hall are stunning, to say the least – I particularly love the vintage murals and art featured throughout the building. Nice touch!

In closing, I am thrilled at the possibility of being involved in the new castle almost literally from the ground up, and would love the opportunity to meet with you and discuss the value that I can bring to the Targaryen organization and the Westeros Castle Project. I appreciate your consideration and look forward to hearing from you.

Warmest regards,

Catelyn Stark

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{ 209 comments… read them below }

  1. Ash*

    Not tearing apart, I swear, but the first line contradicts your advice from this morning (don’t capitalize the position)… to me, what is in the letter makes sense, and now I’m confused!

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      That’s a grammar rule, not anything specific to cover letters. I’m not posting this here as a grammar model, per se — but as an example of what applying the cover letter advice that I give here can look like when done well.

      (And for all I know, there could be other little grammar things with this; I haven’t read it with an eye toward that. The point is the content.)

      1. Ash*

        Makes sense and very much appreciated, Alison — your advice has been supremely helpful (which is why I am eager to take as much of it as possible).

      2. Philip*

        Saying that I would not expect someone who claims to be, “a fanatic for detail” to make such a rudimentary mistake. In respect to the content of the letter she does show a real passion. Well done.

    2. Letter Owner*

      I had honestly never heard the grammatical rule about not capitalizing titles in this context until Alison posted about it yesterday, and by then it was too late to change. ;)

    3. Susan*

      You know, I’m conflicted on this in cover letters. I come from a journalism background, so I’m familiar with this rule because if you’re copyediting a news piece for AP Style, you wouldn’t capitalize (unless the title came before someone’s name).

      However, I kind of see the first sentence as getting straight to the point of letting someone know why they’re getting your email and I always thought the caps kind of helped a skimmer immediately know what you’re talking about. But now I’m realizing this whole time that probably was just my personal preference, and I should probably err on the side of caution lest someone on the receiving end be a grammar fanatic.

      1. the gold digger*

        Speaking of grammar fanatics, apparently, no grammar fanatic is every involved in a job ad that explains that the incumbent will do a, b, and c.

        (Nor were there any English majors involved in the Reebok Incubus.)

      2. Susan2*

        To Susan:
        I agree with you about helping the recruiter skim the letter by capitalizing the position title. In addition, many job descriptions refer to the job title in caps, so generally I follow their lead and capitalize.

      3. Tricia*

        I totally agree. Also a grammar fanatic here but skimming of email subject lines should be expected. So I usually capitalize those words when applying through email.

        (Should there be or could there be a comma before the word “but” above?)

      4. Steve*

        Not to harp on the capitalization of the position issue, but I read cover letters all the time. About 10 per day. When reading them, I usually skim the first sentence or two to understand the context of the letter and appreciate when the position is capitalized to make it stand out.

        Very next thing I do when skimming is make a quick assessment as to whether this same cover letter was sent to 20 other companies for 20 other jobs. If so, I stop reading. If it is tailored, usually with a specific reason why the job is exciting (not just “I saw the job posting for XXX at YOUR_COMPANY and it intrigued me”), that’s a good sign and I read on.

        Having said that, I think this cover letter is great. Definitely someone I would want to follow up with for the role. The personality comes out. I can quickly picture the candidate having great attention to detail and jumping with both feet in to any problem. This is much better than the 99% of cover letters that just say “I have attention to detail and am capable of functioning highly…blah blah blah… so I’m an ideal fit for this”. role.”

        Maybe one thing I would do, and it may be personal to me, but move some of the section that states why you are passionate about the company to the top. As long as it’s brief and you can quickly get to the point of why you are a good fit, hiring managers like to know right away that this company is special to you. But great job.

        1. Cris*

          I’m interested in the HR readers opinions on how the length changed from the before to the after. The author goes from 154 words to 378 words. I was often told when applying to positions to show passion but also be concise and not be long winded at all.
          Unfortunately I feel a bit like the personality included can sometimes lead to that.

          Any comments at all?

          1. Caro*

            I am also interested.. Thank you for doing the count. I had the text copied so I could find a character count tool online after reading the comments. I was recently emailed a few cover letter articles and more than one said to keep it around 140. But then again their comments sent me here… so maybe the long-windedness is better if everyone is skimming anyway?

    4. LMW*

      My rule of thumb is to follow the employer’s standard. If they capitalize in the ad, I capitalize. If they don’t, I don’t.

    5. Liz*

      Wow! Now this was an awesome cover letter! Of course, my letter reads exactly like the first one. I thought I was reading my own letter. Okay, back to the drawing board! Thanks for sharing her letter.

      1. Frank*

        Compared to anything I’ve written before I thought the first letter was pretty awesome. The second was even better. After not having had to look for a job for over 16 years I better get my skates on.

    6. Anonymous*

      Ash elaborate if strong cover letter being rejected for sake of employers already selected candidate ?

    7. EJ*

      “I had sworn off sharing more examples of real-life resumes and cover letters for a while because when I’ve done it in the past, I’ve found it supremely frustrating that people want to tear them apart and quibble with details.”
      lol focus THE POINT of the article

  2. Letter Owner*

    Alison, I’m guessing you might see this quicker than if I email you?

    In the second to last paragraph, can you please change “___ and ___ spaces” to “Great Hall” or something, and also there is a word in that same paragraph that should be “castle” but isn’t.

    1. Ollie*

      Oh, jeeze. I didn’t get the reference. I thought it was a random college for some reason. Westeros sounds like a college.

    2. Elysian*

      I’ve only just recently started watching Game of Thrones, and I have to say that all the anonymizations make MUCH more sense to me now.

    3. Kelly O*

      Yeah, I am having a hard time reading it without quietly pondering whether Catelyn would identify more as a Tully of Riverrun or a Stark of Winterfell, and how really Tyrion is more qualified for that position, but what about that time he spent working at Casterly Rock Sewage and Waste Water, and is he really prepared for this sort of larger responsibility? Plus, the unfortunate gang-rape incident does knock off a few points for marketability.

      I’d recommend Jorah Mormont, but he has a tendency to initiate unwanted sexual advances toward his superiors…

      Here endeth my nerd tangent.

      1. Stryker*

        +1. I’m listening to the audiobooks right now and I’m doing the same thing in my head!! (The cover letter was a wonderful reminder, though, on how to do it. I’m helping my mom write a cover letter…!)

    4. Cat*

      I have to say, the Game of Thrones anonymizing technique always makes me worry for the letter writers. “No, Catelyn, I know it seems like a dream job, but it’s a trap!!!”

      1. Letter Owner*

        Aaaand, being married to a Star Wars geek, I reflexively read that in Admiral Ackbar’s voice. *headdesk*

  3. Ollie*

    The whole cover letter is bursting with awesome, but I especially like the second paragraph and “I believe in applying this same level of attention to detail to tasks as visible as prepping the materials for a top-level meeting and as mundane as making sure the copier never runs out of paper.” Shows a lot of personality and the type of work ethic to expect.

    The paragraph about being a Westeros fan is a great example of how to show you’re interested in a company.

    Thank you for sharing your cover letter, OP. Very impressive and inspiring! :D

    1. Letter Owner*

      Thanks! I was particularly proud of that line (although it still doesn’t read quite as smoothly as I’d like). If you could read the job description, you’d see that it calls for, in much more general terms, that breadth of responsibilities. My goal was to show that I grasped the job description without parroting it back to them.

      1. Ella*

        The entire letter is nicely imbued with enthusiasm and zest!
        The receiver can NOT, by any means, remain indifferent to that energy.

  4. Emily*

    I’ve always found it challenging to keep the cover letter from summarizing my resume- the “After” letter does a great job of this. I also really appreciate the advice that a cover letter’s tone can be conversational; I feel like there is a tendency to be overly formal. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Anonymous*

    Alison, put a note in about not taking these because you had heard about hiring managers coming back!

    1. Anon*

      I *think* Anonymous is referring to the occasion(s) where AAM got notified that an applicant had plagiarized one of the letters she posted. :)

        1. Letter Owner*

          Alison might know exactly where it is. I think I vaguely remember reading it when I was mainlining the archives shortly after I discovered AAM.

  6. B*

    Wow, this is very interesting and I now see some ways I can improve mine. Thank you and the original writer for sharing this.

  7. Lizabeth*

    Love the before and after – terrific job! I definitely will be referring to this in the future.

    Possible topic: readers submit cover letters that resulted in a job offer?

    1. E.R*

      I like this idea! Although, we dont always know what kind of role the cover letter played in the offer. Might be easier to do “resulted in an interview” ?

      1. Colette*

        But you don’t know if the hiring manager even read the cover letter – the only way to know is if they specifically mention the letter.

    2. Victoria Nonprofit*

      I’ve actually thought about creating a website/blog for that idea, if Alison isn’t interested in hosting it.

    3. Bryan*

      I’d only be skeptical because the cover letters I sued in my last job hunt were pretty bad but I got two offers.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        Yes — that’s why I’ve stayed away from doing that. Bad cover letters can and do still get people interviews. It’s just that great ones get a lot more interviews. So I like to curate the ones that I post here.

      2. the gold digger*

        I got a call for a job that didn’t even exist just because the hiring manager liked my letter so much. I didn’t get the job (because it didn’t exist and they didn’t create it for me), but I was proud of the letter.

  8. tesyaa*

    Just nitpicking here. I would not use the word “fanatic” in a cover letter, or any correspondence with an employer. I think some people might have negative associations with the word “fanatic”.

    1. Letter Owner*

      Eh, normally I’d agree with you, but it’s unlikely to cause a stir in the context of this particular role and industry.

      1. LMW*

        Hm…I recently reviewed a resume for somebody on this site and this would be a totally appropriate cover letter for that person. Was that you?

    2. Ethyl*

      I feel like I’ve had this conversation before and if I recall correctly, the negative connotation of “fanatic” is mainly a UK thing. In the US it doesn’t carry much, if any, connotation at all outside of the standard meaning.

      1. Letter Owner*

        Plus, I really do have a religious and/or militant zeal about not letting the copy machine run out of paper.

      2. Bea W*

        i’m thoroughly American, and “fanatic” is necessarily a good thing to call yourself though it depends on the context. It creeps me out seeing it in a cover letter.

        I do love this example despite that because the difference is night and day between the two letters, and this gave me a really awesome example of what a cover letter should be. no matter hiw much advice I’d read on this subject, I just couldn’t get my head around what that should look like.

    3. Joey*

      Although I don’t mind I know some colleagues that might think its a bit gimmicky to label yourself a fanatic, guru, whiz or the like.

      1. Letter Owner*

        I knew it was just a matter of time until someone called this out. Knew. It. LOL

        I have no defense other than it’s not really about me labeling myself as such, and more about “being known as” around the office. I thought about what I would say if I were sitting face to face with someone and yeah, I’d probably say, “I have a reputation for being the technology whiz.” I would never, ever use a gimmicky title like that on, say, my LinkedIn profile.

  9. JoAnna*

    The next time you do one of these, how about Hunger Games style? Katniss Everdeen as the applicant, and President Snow as the hiring manager. Maybe Effie Trinket can be the clueless HR rep. :)

  10. Kerry*

    Aw gods, are they proposing to rebuild Winterfell? That sounds like a very worthwhile project! My heart aches when I think about what has been lost.

  11. Kelly*

    Thank you for posting such good examples of conversational cover letters, and a special thank you to the writer for allowing it to be posted!

    Most of my cover letters tend to be more formal. While I get reasonably good responses, I would like to see the difference it could make to let more of my personality show. I think I’ve got a re-writing project on my hands today……

  12. Julie*

    It’s great to see another example of the type of letter that hiring managers appreciate. I know I would want to receive the second letter! When I was reading the first one, I started skimming and thinking to myself “yadda, yadda, yadda.” This is another example of Alison getting helpful information out there for people who have only heard the old, and worse than useless, information about job hunting. I’m not job searching now, but when I do need to look for another job, I’ll be so much better prepared, and I’ll be able to feel confident in my cover letter and resume after using the information from AAM.

  13. Turanga Leela*

    I love this letter. Thanks for sharing!

    A field-specific comment: I’ve done hiring for lawyers, and this would be unusually informal in that field. Not that I expect or want “Dear Sir or Madam,” but the contractions and colloquialisms (“Nice touch!”) would stand out, and not necessarily in a good way. However, I think a candidate who used slightly more formal language with this kind of open, conversational tone would be really appealing to a hiring manager.

    Any lawyers care to agree or disagree?

    1. A lawyer*

      I agree that it’s not a good fit for an attorney position (I would certainly use a more formal cover letter myself), but it’s also not trying to be a good fit for an attorney position – it’s very specifically written for one position, which is what makes it so good.

    2. MK*

      Yes, I agree. I’m a public interest attorney which means that the office culture can be very casual, but the legal field still has a certain level of formality. So one’s cover letter should reflect one’s field.

    3. Dulcinea*

      Also a lawyer and I also agree about the formality of this letter. I think it’s difficult to be both conversational and formal at the same time.

      1. Turanga Leela*

        I agree. My personal trick is to write the letter in my speaking voice, including contractions and slang, and then take out anything inappropriate when I edit. When I’m done, I have a letter that sounds like me but isn’t too casual.

    4. Anon Accountant*

      I’m not a lawyer but work with lawyers regularly and really liked this cover letter. More conservative field may expect more formal language in a cover letter but I think this one is really well written and excellent for the LW’s position applied for.

      I’d love to see AAM post a cover letter example for an attorney or a cover letter that’s for a traditionally conservative field.

      Great job LW and thanks for sharing with AAM to share with readers.

    5. anon in tejas*

      I think that you can add formality to the second letter, but still keep the spirit of the letter. My cover letter to my current position read more like the second than the first (but more formal, no rhetorical questions).

    6. Cat*

      I think this is probably very informal for some attorney positions but only a little informal for an attorney position at a relatively informal firm or organization like the kind I work at. Contractions don’t bother me in the slightest; something like “nice touch!” would probably ping as slightly off tone wise, but only slightly. But I do appreciate when candidates make an effort to fit the tone of our organization, which is more informal than a lot of other law firms. And it’s not just a shot in the dark; if you read our website, it’s written in such a way that you should get a pretty good idea that a tiny bit quirky and offbeat will appeal to us (just like when you read other law firms’ websites it’s often very clear that quirky and offbeat probably won’t appeal).

  14. Z*

    Thanks for posting this, Alison and OP! It’s very helpful.

    I particularly love that having brought in $1.5 million is added as a parenthetical.

    1. Anon*

      Agreed! I think the letter writer managed to include ton of information about her accomplishments and skills without it feeling like too much. It’s easy to just throw that stuff in a list (like in the original letter, which is exactly how I used to do it), but that’s boring to read. The after is anything but boring!

  15. EduStudent*

    Thanks so much to the author for letting this be posted. My cover letters tend to be pretty long (still within a page, but barely) and very formal, and as much as I try I still do it again and again. This is a great example of how to make a cover letter informal while still conveying the ‘right’ information.

  16. Sascha*

    I love all the Game of Thrones references. I’m about to finish season 2. I’m imagining all the different cover letters from each character. Joffrey’s would say, “I’ll sue your company if you don’t hire me!” and then he’d send his lackey to the interview because he couldn’t be bothered to do it himself. :)

  17. AnonM*

    Great job, original cover-letter-writer. I have also switched to using this style and I’m convinced it has helped me land interviews I may not otherwise have gotten!

    @Julie – I totally agree. The first letter was “yadda, yadda” and I couldn’t tell you a thing about it, but the details in the second really stand out and make the author’s personality sing.

  18. A Jane*

    Love this example — definitely makes me rethink what I currently have and figure out how to make it better!

  19. Letter Owner*

    Thanks, everyone! And thanks, Alison, for wanting to share it.

    *Bucket list: get a letter featured on AAM. Check.*

    Looking at them side by side, I honestly cannot believe how stilted and dry my “before” letter now looks. I used to think it was so good!

    Let’s all cross our fingers that the hiring manager also thinks it’s awesome, eh?

      1. KJR*

        I would definitely call you in for an interview and/or hire you! I rarely even get cover letters anymore, and the ones that I do sound more like Letter #1. If I were to get one like #2, I would be intrigued, and would want to hear more.

        1. Marcy*

          I see the same thing- very few cover letters at all, much less one that tells you anything useful. I think letter #1 is fine- it is just generic and you would expect to see pretty much the same letter from any of the other candidates sending one in. The second letter really sells the candidate without sounding like a used car salesman. If the resume is in order, I would definitely put this person at the top of the list for an interview.

    1. Windchime*

      I thought your “before” letter was fine; kind of ho-hum but certainly nothing wrong with it. But the second one is really great, and I hope that if you haven’t gotten great results with it already that you will soon!

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        Yes, the first one didn’t have anything wrong with it, per se; it was exactly like most cover letters, and that was the problem. Most people approach their cover letters that way, which makes them just a non-factor in the application. They don’t help at all, but they don’t actively hurt. They just take up a sheet of paper.

  20. Parcae*

    Very nice! I need to write a cover letter tonight, and this example is giving me Ideas. (I promise not to randomly capitalize for emphasis in my cover letter, pinkie swear!) My pre-Ask-a-Manager cover letters read just like the Before example. I’m still working towards the After. I wish I could sprinkle mine with Westerosi examples, though. That would really spice things up!

  21. Susan*

    I like these examples because I think a lot of times when blogs give examples, the before is so terrible that you’re left thinking, “Well, yeah… that’s bad.” But her first cover letter is well written and she comes off as intelligent–it’s just boring. And I think that’s what we’re trying to learn as cover letter writers, right? We’re trying to write something that evokes response, which her second one certainly does.

    1. Mints*

      Oh good point +1
      Alot of more generic sites have terrible cover letters that make me feel like “well duh of course I’ll hit spell check.” But I still end up sending out a bunch of boring yet acceptable cover letters.
      I need to work on this!

  22. Colleen*

    I am not on the job market yet but have to ask: is it really feasible to write cover letters this tightly customized to positions? If you are applying to several dozen jobs a week it seems a bit unwieldy. When I applied to ~15 grad programs I had a boilerplate essay, and would customize a paragraph about my fit for the individual school/program, and that was still really time consuming.

    1. Letter Owner*

      Granted, I have a job so my search isn’t as hard core as someone who’s out of work or about to be laid off or what have you, but I would rather identify a few jobs that I REALLY REALLY want and do a bang-up job on those letters (and targeting my resume as well) than to send out 15 or 20 boilerplate letters that aren’t going to stand out from the couple hundred similar letters that somebody is going to screen.

    2. fposte*

      Fewer, more targeted cover letters are probably going to require less writing overall than more boilerplate, because it likely won’t take you as long to find a job.

      Go back to the “hiring is like dating” thing. “Colleen, I saw your profile on the site and I enjoy women who possess hair and personal qualities.” Do you say “Woo, sign me up”?

        1. Laura*

          I’d definitely rather get a job with fewer applications. I find that in writing customized specific cover letters and getting like 5-7 out a week has gotten me more interviews than generic cover letters with 15 a week.

          I don’t think i’m quite as awesome at it as this example, but I’m definitely closer to the after example than the before after reading this site so long

        2. Erin*

          Alison, you’ve said in the past that a cover letter should take about 20 minutes. How on earth do you write this kind of highly customized cover letter in 20 minutes? My process usually involves reading the job posting thoroughly and pulling out key words and phrases that really communicate what they’re looking for. Then I go through their web site, LinkedIn profile, and any other information (e.g., press releases, news articles, etc.) to get a feel for not only who they are, but who they believe they are. I choose a few key attributes of mine that I want to highlight, given my understanding of what they’re looking for (based on the previous steps) and finally add in either a paragraph or several sentences here and there about why I want to work for them in particular. Next, my husband (who’s also in my field) reviews the cover letter and gives me suggestions. I also comb my network to see if I know anyone at that employer. If I do, I also ask them to take a look at my resume (which has also been customized and search optimized for the position) and cover letter both for general feedback and for input on how it fits with what the employer is generally looking for. Based on this feedback, I might do a few small edits, or I might do a total re-write (e.g., I recently applied for a position where my contacts said that all the employer wants to hear is about how much you want to work for them, not at all about your accomplishments). This draft might go through one more round of review and feedback from my husband and my contacts. Finally, after I’ve done all the substantive edits, I go through it at least three separate times for typos (and I mean really go through it — like reading it backward, reading it out loud, etc.). After all that, it’s finally done. There’s no way this is a 20 minute process. It’s not even an hour long process. I could only see getting a cover letter ready in 20 min if you used boilerplate and just were changing the addressee (and doing that would probably take me close to 20 min because I always triple check all of the details of spelling etc. of the addressee’s name and address, plus of course doing the research to figure out who the addressee should be, which is almost never posted).

          1. Letter Owner*

            Here’s the thing…how much time does it take you to actually *write*? Can you get that first draft on paper in under 30 minutes, or does it take you three hours because you get stuck agonizing over whether to say “used” or “utilized”? If the actual writing process moves fairly quickly, then I think you have the right idea.

            I spent DAYS researching before I started writing, and this is a company I’m already a fan of. But I don’t consider that part of the writing process. And yes, my proofreading is also exhaustive – unless I know I’m up against a closing deadline, I’ll write, and then wait a day or two to review so I can look at it with fresh eyes. But my letter above, which clearly is the first of its kind that *I’ve* ever written, really did take me around 30 minutes once I got past a couple false starts and found my voice.

        1. Eden*

          I write a completely custom cover letter for each application. I don’t send out 15 a week though; there aren’t that many jobs I want to apply for posted each week! I probably send around 5 – 7 each week.

          I’ve noticed that since I have improved my cover letters, I’m starting to get phone interviews, but I think I’m blowing them, somehow. Recruiters seem to be trained to have as flat an affect as possible and not to give any feedback. The recruiter I spoke with last Friday didn’t even say “uh-huh,” or give any verbal punctuation to the conversation at all. It was conversational weightlessness—no gravity or reference point—very unsettling. We’ll see if I get a call for an in-person interview for that one! I doubt it.

          I’d love to say my cover letters are as good as the OP’s, but they aren’t. I used to try to work from a previous one for a similar position, but I actually think it was harder, because no two positions are enough alike, nor are the companies. So I’d rework for hours, only to finally realize I was getting hung up on trying to use stuff that wasn’t even very good.

          I can usually only get out about two applications a day, because of the time it takes to research the company, deconstruct the posting (I like to mine the detail of what they are looking for so I can address it in my letter, but also because I have found some postings that, on closer inspection, don’t look like a good fit for me), write a targeted cover letter, and jump through the seventeen flaming hoops of whatever god-awful application database system the company uses.

  23. legaljobs*

    I am a lawyer. I’ve been told by my Career Services, which I am using for my job search, to not write a cover letter longer than 1 page. This seems like its more than one page. Also, if people are scanning in 20-seconds, how helpful is this type of cover letter? Or, is this letter written for someone who believes the letter will reach a hiring manager?

    1. Letter Owner*

      It’s not more than one page, I checked. ;)

      What I hope – what I think any cover letter writer’s goal should be – is that there are enough interesting, unique details that maybe the reviewer stops skimming an actually gets invested in what I have to say.

      1. legaljobs*

        You are right. I went back to recheck. Still, this type of letter would not work for an attorney position. The expectation is that are supposed to be reserved.

      2. legaljobs*

        As I asked the other day, I would like to know how all these principles apply to my profession. Whether it is this type of letter or results oriented resumes.

        1. Anon*

          Hi, Legaljobs.

          I’m an attorney, and I’m hiring. I work in-house, but this sort of letter would work for me, and in fact I’d be more likely to interview based on something like it. Some of the wording is a little over the top (i.e., anything with an exclamation point would strike me as weird), but in general this would stand out in a good way.

          I think you’re right about needing to be reserved, but there’s a difference between “reserved” and “generic”. Write your letters in a way that differentiates you. What do you really offer your future employer? Why do you want this job specifically? That’s what I really want to know– when I see someone who can write persuasively, that’s the mark of someone who can help my group.

          1. legaljobs*

            Well, one of the things that I am now trying to emphasize in my letter is that I entered my current position as the first and only in-house counsel. Management has decided to phase out the position for business reasons and will use outside counsel to take care of issues now that I have built basic legal programs for them. The CEO did state that I opened the company’s eyes to many policies that they didn’t even know they needed.

            Having to build out legal policies as well as compliance programs where none previously involved convincing business managers that there was a problem (e.g., understanding privacy law) and selling them on the need to implement strategies, often nationally and abroad. This was a challenge that I often lost because of the resistance to legal risk management strategies, but I can point to value of what I did do.

            The challenge that I have faced is that I am not certain how the ability to build a legal department from scratch and convince business managers who are resistant to change would translate into other more established legal departments.

            When I have talked to other lawyers (if I somehow get an interview), they have not seemed very interested that I was able to do this, and, in fact, gloss it over before asking me about what I consider to be the easy part of being a lawyer- which is analyzing and solving legal problems. For me, that’s not hard to do because that was the baseline of what I needed to do in my current position. The environment was chaotic from a legal perspective- so on any given day, I was expected to draft a co-sponsor agreement involving foreign and U.S. laws. or restructure programs that had previously been agreed to because a business manager decided it wouldn’t sell.

            The hard part was buy in and implementation.

            I want to write a letter that’s positive, but at the same time indicate the skills that I had to use to get things done.

            1. Letter Writer*

              I think you need to extrapolate a bit – what talents and abilities made you really good at that job that apply to a more traditional role?

                1. A Bug!*

                  If I’m understanding Letter Writer correctly, if you’re changing from one type of job to another, you need to work on being clear about what precisely your value is to your potential employers.

                  When you say “I accomplished X and Y”, if the hiring manager doesn’t have a clear understanding of what “X and Y” really means, then you’re not communicating anything meaningful. Especially when you’re shifting job types, it’s more and more likely that the hiring manager won’t have a clear understanding of what it means, and the hiring manager is unlikely to waste a bunch of time trying to figure it out.

                  So you need to translate it for them. What skills did it take to accomplish X and Y? What does having completed X and Y say about you, in terms that are transferable and meaningful? Good time management skills? Strong grasp of emerging technology and the ability to apply it in a practical way?

                  Break your accomplishments down into the skills that made it possible for your to accomplish them. Then focus on those skills that are transferable, using the accomplishments themselves as support for your claims.

                  (This is good to do even if you’re moving within a job type, because you’ll interview better if you really understand your strengths and how they translate into the work you’re able to do.)

          2. Turanga Leela*

            Anon, I agree. I think with a few small changes, this letter would work well for law. The bright tone is great; the key is to make it more formal without making it stuffy.

            1. Legaljobs*

              As I mentioned to the Letter Writer, I think if I can see an example of what you mean by more formal, but not stuffy while writing a letter like above, that would help. I am not by trade good at marketing or sales so making it concrete really would help me to then translate it into something that I can apply.

              1. Turanga Leela*

                I don’t have a great letter kicking around, but for an example of formal but not stuffy tone, I would read personal essays or high-end journalism. The New Yorker publishes essays that have fantastic personal style but still follow the conventions of formal writing. I would start there.

                From there, think of writing a cover letter like the one in this post, but following all the rules that you learned in English class: complete sentences, no contractions, no slang. It might help to write the letter initially in your own speaking voice and then go back to edit out any overly casual language. You still want to use short, declarative sentences and convey real enthusiasm. As I said, this letter would require very few changes to be appropriate for law offices. (And as I said before, LW, it’s a great letter–none of this is intended as criticism.)

                For whatever it’s worth, I think learning to write this way is helpful for legal work as well as cover letters. Many lawyers don’t write well, and you will stand out if you can write clearly and readably.

                1. Letter Owner*

                  No worries Leela (awesome handle, BTW) – I agree with you completely. I took a lot of grammatical liberties with this letter that I probably wouldn’t if I were, say, targeting a legal assistant position rather than sales support.

                  Legaljobs, I think what you need to look at is demonstrating (both in writing and in interviews) HOW what you’ve done in the past is useful to your next employer. For example, in my letter: in this new job, will I be editing many 200-page grant proposals? Unlikely. But that example gets their attention, and then (before they can say “so what?”) I told them exactly how the skill that made me good at that project (attention to detail) IS relevant to the new job, with examples I took straight out of the job posting.

                  Let’s say I’m an interviewer. You tell me that you’re awesome at building legal departments from scratch. If I say, “Okay, and how does that benefit me?” – What’s your response?

                  If you can’t tie the example back to “what’s in it for them,” then maybe you need a different example.

                2. Legal jobs*

                  The point of mentioning building legal polices and procedures where none existed is to create a starting point for how I add value. It demonstrates that I must know the law, how to apply them, how to work with others, how to assess value or follow the value assessed by others, how to achieve business goals etc

                  Perhaps in not selling it right but its not for lack of selling

                3. A Bug!*

                  I’d like to direct your attention to the comment I made above, because it addresses this comment of yours as well as the other one.

                  You know what it means to have created legal policies as in-house counsel. But maybe the hiring manager doesn’t. Maybe ‘drafted corporate legal policy’ means as much to the hiring manager as ‘Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra’.

                  The idea is to make sure that the message you want to convey is the message that’s received, and that might involve a re-framing of how you present your value.

  24. nyxalinth*

    I fall somewhere between the two in mine, I think. While we don’t want to copy word for word, I think that finding something in the position, the company, etc to be truly passionate about is the thing to take away from this. I try to sound passionate and excited, because I really do enjoy customer service, but my letters might be coming off to them like “Yeah, she’s passionate about what she does, but is she really passionate about us and what WE do?”

  25. GovernmentNerd*

    Fantastic letter! Thanks for sharing, Letter Owner and AAM. Your personality really shines through in the “after” version, and the first version looks like every lame cover letter I’ve ever written in my life! Between real-life examples of cover letters like this and the fascinating salary thread last week, this blog truly is an awesome resource.

    1. Eden*

      Thanks for sharing that link!

      Boy, are those ever some long cover letters! I kill myself to make sure mine have no long paragraphs and are under a page. Maybe in library work it’s okay to be wordier?

      1. Kit M.*

        I’ve been told by people in a position to know that two pages is normal, even expected. I imagine this is even more true when you’re talking about academic libraries. Personally, I think it just opens the doors for a lot of unnecessary wordiness.

  26. LPBB*

    What a great letter! Thank you so much for posting this, Alison. I’ve been struggling with a cover letter for a week now, but this has given me some inspiration.

  27. Lily in NYC*

    What a great letter. I often do the screening for our admin positions, and the first version would have also impressed me (but of course the final one is even better). I’m just happy when they aren’t riddled with typos like most of the ones I receive!

  28. Kat*

    Thank you for this!! I’m graduating with my masters in a few months and have recently realized that a promotion will not happen as expected in my current role. This is exactly the inspiration I needed to take my cover letters to the next level!

  29. Some Old Guy*

    Thanks for sharing this. As a seasoned executive who will soon pursue a major career change, I found this to be an excellent example for my own personal benefit of how to tailor a cover letter; well done. It’s obvious the writer would be a great fit for our office, and I’d be inclined to put this applicant on the top of the stack for an interview. As my deputy would say, it’s a no-brainer decision.

  30. Anne On*

    It worked!
    I just finished my FIRST phone interview and I’ve been job hunting since June.
    I’m so happy you shared a concrete example because my other cover letters looked just like the first one. No wonder I wasn’t getting any responses.
    Wish me luck for landing an in-person interview.

  31. Jenn*

    Excellent cover letter! I’d be interested to know if this one snagged her an interview as that’s the trouble I’m having. My good friend just referred me to your website, and it’s like an oasis in the American job hunting jungle chaos. Thanks for sharing the reader’s letter. It’s more personal than most cover letters, and I would be surprised to hear that she did NOT receive a call to interview.

    1. Letter Owner*

      It did not, unfortunately. The industry this job was targeting is notoriously hard to break into, and I’m sure the applicant pool was huge. I’ve done some looking at LinkedIn profiles of people in similar roles at other organizations in the industry, and I doubt I was in the top 50% of resumes in terms of direct experience. But it was worth a shot!

      1. Letter Reader*

        Thanks so much for following up with this and sharing with us that you did not get an interview for the position.

  32. Marina*

    In today’s world cover letter should be preferably short and to the point and not longer than in your ‘after version’. Hiring Managers are receiving so many a day that it be interesting enough to keep reading.

  33. Tiff*

    This post was truly so helpful. I’ve been writing robot cover letters for the longest and didn’t even notice. I have many cover letters that mirror the first version. I currently am revising my cover letter with all the great resources your blog offers! Thank you!

  34. S.A.*

    Stunning… just stunning to read. I’ve been tailoring my cover letters and resumes to high light the areas in my skill set an employer would look for AND to make sure I emphasize the skills they’re looking for in particular as per their job posting.

    I feel much more confident applying for jobs this way even if I don’t get the job. This is the best site by far when it comes to career advice in my opinion. The people in the comments section along with AAM herself are fantastic!

    I’ve gone from an angry ball of hate from last year to an optimistic, almost happy person. Working toward landing that dream job now… at 11 pm.

  35. Shawn*

    Isn’t this cover a little long winded? How many hiring agents are actually gonna take the time to read something this long?

  36. Raul A Madrigal*

    AMAZING!!!!! seriously helped me out so much!!!! this whole morning ive been looking for a great example but ive been coming across bull… something a kid would write up… but wow!!!! thank you!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!

  37. David Dane*

    Starting the first two most important paragraphs with “It” and “As” garners a D- from me. There are many more words in the “after” version, which means fewer people will have the patience to read them. If this qualifies as thoughtful advice, the job seekers of the future are in trouble.

  38. Khama*

    I love this! Came across this link via the and I’m definitely adding this website to my list! I know I will get a job amusing the advice on this website. Honestly, looking at this cover letter alone I’ve already learned a few things!

  39. Jon Jones*

    What a crock. So some enthusiasm is expressed in the second letter. Give the b.s.’er a job and let’s how they work out. Give them a chance, put them to task and we’ll see if they are what they say they are. To all b.s. letter writers out there, “be careful what you wish for,” you might get hired for it.

  40. Lin Teng*

    I’m curious to know if fresh graduates with no working experience should put in their hobbies in their cover letters.

  41. Liv*

    Hmm, now I’m really confused… I use to submit really long cover letters like the After Version but after showing it to former colleagues (I use to work in an Employment & HR office) as well as my local Worksouce office, everyone told me that while my qualifications and enthusiasm were on the mark for the jobs I was applying to, a lot of hiring managers don’t want to read a really long cover letter. They said most of the time, it gets immediately disregarded.

    So, is it broken down to specific companies? How do you know which companies will be fine with a lengthy cover letter? Should I go back to my former version? I have to admit, my shorter version gets me more interviews. But if I could get more information to them before a potential interview, that sounds good too.

  42. Jiangpeng Zhang*

    Is it recommended that we attach our contact information in the last paragraph (just make it easier for the recruiter to call)? I don’t see this in the after-version.

    Thanks. This is awesome comparison. Love it!

    1. Persephone Mulberry*

      Personally, I put my contact info below my name/signature if I’m emailing the letter, or it’s in the header (to match my resume) if I’m sending it as an attachment/uploading it.

  43. J. Broderick*

    As an HR professional, one who reads many dozens of cover letters per position (even hundreds, at times), I can tell you that this cover letter is simply not succinct enough to be appreciated by overloaded HR folks.
    Because of the length alone, however charmingly and personably the letter may be written, it would be eye-scanned at best, but more likely by-passed entirely in favor of the resume, where there is concise information. The key to cover letters: succinct and concise.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      And yet you’ve got a bunch of hiring managers here saying that this would get their attention.

      Not everything will please everyone, of course, but I don’t think it makes sense to make sweeping statements like “this won’t work” when there’s a bunch of hiring managers saying it will!

  44. Shanae*

    Hi! I’ve read recently that it is actually a little tacky, and probably best, to not include “Dear such and such” in the beginning of the cover letter. Now, I’ve somehow made it until 25 never having to write one, and suddenly finding it necessary. I’m glad I stumbled upon this website! But, starting this cover letter has to be one of the hardest things, and I’m not sure if I should include the “Dear” or just jump right into it. Help?

  45. Sally*

    GREAT question Shanae! I am always struggling with the intro as well. Starting out with “Dear Recruiter/Hiring Manager” seems to be the standard so I have reluctantly done it, but it seems so awkward to me. And so does just launching into a letter with no greeting at all. I used to do a great deal of hiring and also found it strange to be on the receiving end of “Dear (whatever)” from a total stranger. It was fine for my grandmother to call me “dear”, but that’s about it. Are there any other respectful options for starting a professional sounding cover letter, or any business letter for that matter? I am new to this blog but I am really curious about the response to this…

  46. First time poster*

    Please don’t call me crazy for asking this, but can I actually mention having applied for the same position in the past? For example, “I applied for the accounting position in the past, but now that I have XYZ experience, I feel I’m much better qualified.” Or would that just draw attention to the fact that they didn’t like me the first time I applied?

  47. Adriane Mitchell*

    I have been out of work for over two years. I needed a little help in closing my cover letter. Your example of the cover letter was extremely helpful.

    Thank you!

  48. Sharifi*


    Thanx for this information sharing and I really enjoy reading it and apply it. Hopefully, this time get a chance of interview.

  49. Andrew*

    10th Feb 14 3:38 reference – Comment from Letter owner – extremely important observation –

    Thanks! I was particularly …….etc……………

    (Extremely well done)
    ” My goal was to show that I grasped the job description without parroting it back to them.”

  50. Trinh Tung Anh*

    Thank you for sharing this !!
    It’s really helpful and I’m going to start re-writing my cover letter now.

  51. Arcy*

    Can someone recommend a reputable CV/Resume professional (let’s be bold and throw the cover letter in the mix as well)?

    For the past 3 years I have tried going at it myself asking a few of my highly educated professional friends to help proofreading and editing. Unfortunately, I have had no luck in landing interviews (London). I started writing my letters with a lot of passion and professionalism and only to jobs that I knew I had at least 85% of the experience they required. So much time has passed that the passion has died. I write or copy paste cover letters for the sake of attaching one when required knowing well I will not get a call. This is not me being pessimistic, it is simply me being drained of not having a single door open in the past three years.

    All help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  52. bp*

    This may or may not be great advice, but there certainly are many different hiring managers. If I am the one reading the revised version with all of its brassy shiny disrespectful waste of my time, you won’t be getting the job.

    I want you to get to the point. Now.

    I have 50 more to review this hour and you want me to sit down with story time. No.

  53. EV*

    How do you find this one?

    Application for position: Manager CRM Business Processes
    Dear Mr XXX,
    I am writing in response to the open position for Manager CRM Business Processes.
    I can offer you over 10 years of experience developing global processes and concepts in customer
    care field. Working with cross-functional and multicultural teams is where I am at my best and what
    also gives me the greatest satisfaction – it never gets boring and there is always so much new to
    I have a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from University of XX, XX , but I am
    permanently living in XXX. International working environment is for me not only a familiarity
    but also very welcomed, if not a necessity.
    I would warmly welcome the chance to speak with you in person and tell you more about me and
    what I can offer for you.
    Best regards,

  54. picotin*

    Hi Alison,
    I am having a problem trying to get my cover letter going. I am applying for a job that I am under-qualified for according to their “success profile.” I do know that this position do not really need a science degree (it is just preferred) but they did put it down there. Besides, it is actually a trainee position where I will be in training for 3-4 years. Anyhow, I do not know how to bring it up and I feel that in this case it is vital that I have a cover letter to explain why I am a suitable candidate. I don’t want the hiring manager to just throw my resume out without giving me at least a chance. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

  55. Annie*

    Game of Thrones! I couldn’t help but smile when I was reading through this.
    On another note, this was so well written, and definitely helped me out a lot with writing my own cover letter.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  56. Rose*

    Alison, your cover letter advice (and your website) as been INCREDIBLY helpful and timely during my job searching. Thanks again for all you do! And many thanks to the author of this cover letter who really put her heart into it!

  57. Taylor*

    The only thing I don’t understand is why Catelyn Stark would want to be in a Targaryen Organization since Aegon killed her to be husband and father-in-law!

  58. Semih*

    I’ve been checking cover letters since I am about to write my first, and this is by far the best I’ve ever encountered (after 3 hours of reading some). Thank you very much! :)

  59. Niecy*

    I become paranoid when I read interested candidates are requested to send a cover letter along with salary requirements. Please provide me with suggestions for accomplishing my fear.

  60. Nerissa*

    I feel blessed to come across with this article.
    Nice wake up call, LOL! ;)
    Two thumbs up Alison Green.

  61. Madison*

    So everywhere I look I’ve been finding limited help on writing my cover letter because I’m a junior in high school with almost no prior job experience and I’m applying for an engineering internship that they haven’t even told what exactly we’ll be doing. We could be doing anything from manual labor to programming. So I’m not sure what exactly to focus my cover letter on except that I’ve taken three years of engineering classes and I really want to be an engineer… Can you help me?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      You’re in high school, so they understand that you won’t have a ton to talk about yet! I’d focus on why you want to be an engineer and what you’ve been doing to prepare for that (your classes, etc.).

      1. Madison*

        Thank you! I was truly lost as to what to write on it and there are limited intern spots available so I was panicking a bit… I appreciate the advice greatly!

  62. BTW*

    I am attempting to break into the event planning industry and recently came across a posting for a Group Sales Co-ordinator. While it is not directly events related, there are many aspects of the position that allow me to work in collaboration with the events team. The job is at a ski resort (which is open year round and has many summer events) and although I am not completely qualified I have decided to apply anyways. I was looking for a way to really stand out and as CL’s generally stump me I came across this post. As a frequent reader of AAM I had read it before but never gained much inspiration from it … until now!

    I had this idea to look up the name of the ski runs at the resort and was thankful to see that a few of them had (respectable) names that could easily be incorporated into a cover letter. Bad idea or should I “run” with it? Haha! (Okay that was a bit lame lol! I promise my CL will not have terrible jokes!) I think my biggest fear with this is if they don’t catch on to the references then it will sound really weird. Should I capitalize these or make them stand out in some way?

  63. Techis*

    This cover letter is really great. I work in the gaming industry and the recruiters tend to ask – even go so far as to state it In their job postings – that they are looking for enthusiastic cover letters like ex 2. Because the industry isn’t the most stable, I have a cover letter of examples 1 and 2. It definitely depends on the company, and even the hiring department’s tone. I went through a layoff and have been on the hunt again. I will definitely be re-working both cover letters (at least so ex 1 can pick up more interest especially for work outside the industry). Thank you Alison!

  64. Virginia*

    This Before and After example is the most helpful tool i have found on the web for figuring out how to get myself out of the old-fashioned, boring recast of my resume in the cover letter, to a dynamic cover letter that introduces me without being smarmy or over the top. THANK YOU SO MUCH for Sharing and posting these!!!

  65. Jamie*

    Oh my Game of Thrones name switches lol. Nice touch! Now that that is out of the way, thank you!!!!!!! I have had the hardest time trying to find a real life Cover Letter example. All I kept coming across were reiterations of resumes, lame “5 line only” instructions, and supremely confusing, unhelpful examples of people with mountains of schooling and experience (that I do not posses). This before and after is amazing, and easy to understand! I finally feel like this is something I can accomplish and even possibly do well. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!

  66. beth*

    I am having total writer’s block. My self esteem has suffered, and it probably has to do with me thinking way too hard on my cover letter. The more I read about how to write awesome cover letters, I become more confused. I’m second guessing myself to the point I cannot type one word. I am applying for a police dispatcher’s position at my local university. Does anyone have any pointers that help overcome writer’s bl0ck?

  67. Alice*

    This comment may be too belated for this post, but it came up when I was trying to see if “right fit” was too informal for a cover letter (I can’t tell if it actually is or if my 71 year-old reviewer is just old-fashioned…).

    In any case, my question is: How do you give a cover letter more personality when you are applying to a hiring committee that may have very set expectations for the format?

    I am in the process of applying for a government job, and the job posting literally lists six qualifications and says that the applicant must describe their possession of each of the job factors individually in the cover letter (one of them is… proficiency in Microsoft Office products…). Since it’s for a large organization that attracts a lot of applicants, I am also worried that a cover letter that doesn’t meet the set expectations won’t even make it past the initial reviewer to the hiring manager or my potential boss.

    Part of me wants to still try to write a unique cover letter, so I filled the opening/closing with more personality, but I’m having a hard time meeting their expectations without simply repeating tasks on my resume that are a close match for the listed qualifications/tasks at the organization.

    I used to think, “If they are so set in their ways that they won’t even allow for some well-articulated personality, then I don’t want to work there!” But, money.

    1. Alice*

      Whoops, and forgot to say– I loved the cover letter! Sometimes examples of cover letters (or Linkedin summaries) with “personality” can sound a little hokey. This one makes the applicant sound like a distinctive candidate with passion and the skills to back it up, along with some great quantification.

  68. Ripa*

    So glad I’ve came across this! I’ve been struggling to find that balance of professionalism and personality to add to my cover letter, and this has really helped me.

    Thank you to you both.


  69. Kate*

    This cover letter is great! I’ve read it a few times before but after reading even more articles on writing cover letters, I read that cover letters need to be 300 words or under, and this is 378 according to Word. I’m currently writing a cover letter now and want to add a section that describes what I would specifically bring to this role but I’m afraid I’ll be going over the proverbial word amount since hr recruiters and hiring managers have little time to read through 1 when they have thousands more to read on top of that.

    Also I can totally relate to Beth’s struggles because they are mine as well! It’s taken me days to finish this cover letter I’m working on and reading other articles on writing amazing cover letters has put me at a loss as I am second guessing myself and am still having the hardest time conveying my personality and professionalism in a way that is short and succinct. Thoughts?

  70. Michelle*

    Thank you so much for shaing this!! I have been stuck in a rut trying to figure out how to get my resume from the 95% to the 5% and this provided so much inspiration!

  71. Jason*


    You want to convey enthusiasm, but not at the expense of professionalism. Tl;dr considerations aside, the revised cover letter is much too informal, and strikes me as being a little too cavalier. As a hiring manager, I’d be questioning whether this person is serious about the position at all — with phrases like “gatekeeper, technology whiz, bookkeeper and marketing guru”, you’re not exactly positioning yourself as an administrative professional. That’s certainly not how one would correspond with internal or external clients, so why would it be appropriate for application materials? The penultimate paragraph strikes me as insincere, which is almost worse than conveying no enthusiasm at all.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      But you see all these other hiring managers here who like it and disagree with you, right? Isn’t the conclusion to draw that no one letter will be everyone’s cup of tea, rather than calling the letter writer unprofessional and insincere?

Comments are closed.