The web is crawling with advice on how to write cover letters, as well as tons of templates you can download and easily use. In my opinion, however, they only help you accomplish one thing: writing a boring cover letter.
Hence why I am sharing the following strategy, which I think is a total gem.
It’s really easy: Skip the mumbo jumbo “I graduated from X College with a degree in blah blah blah” and “X Company is sooo interesting because yadda yadda yadda”. The former is obvious from your resume, and the latter is just painful to read.
It might frighten you to think about abandoning the traditional cover letter approach, but bear with me.
Here’s what you do:
1. Read the job description and select several items that instigated your interest in the job
2. Copy and paste them (word for word!) into your cover letter
3. Write specifically about each one in a very short and concise – but very strategic – manner
These are the reasons you’re interested in the job, right? Well, these are the same reasons the employer will be interested in YOU!
Here’s an example of one that I’ve actually used:
Dear [Contact Name],
I have attached my resume for your review because I can assure you that I am a great match for the Clinical Product Manager opening at [Company Name]. Firstly, I meet all of the job requirements, especially the following:
- High energy, enthusiasm and overall positive attitude – If you meet me, you will soon learn that these are three natural aspects of my personality
- Ability to learn complex medical topics quickly – I have a degree in Biology, extensive experience as a pharmacy technician, and have spent two years working on clinical trials – medical topics are of second nature to me. Secondly, I also fulfill many of the preferred qualifications, including:
- Experience in healthcare – I completed an internship with a website created to pair low-income patients with assistance programs designed to help them afford critical medications
- Experience in the molecular diagnostics, medical device or biotech industry – I also completed an internship for a company that manufactures stents, so I am very familiar with the medical device industry.
I am very excited to learn more about this opportunity with [Company Name] and would welcome an interview at any time. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about my skills or experience.
Short, sweet, and to the point. No, it’s not your traditional cover letter, but does that really matter? These days, most cover letters are sent in e-mail form anyway. So, treat it like an e-mail. I had much more success receiving call-backs once I broke away from the standard cover letter.
Just thought I’d share…