I hate writing cover letters.
And I’ll bet many of you do too.
In a world that almost makes self-promotion feel like sacrilege (I promise it’s not when it comes to the job hunt), telling someone why you should get the job via your cover letter can feel like bragging.
That being said, a cover letter is necessary — even if it’s a necessary evil in the application process. While many people feel like your resume should be tailored to each position applied for (which can result in hundreds of resumes created), tailor your cover letter instead.
How, you ask? Add a table addressing each of the job’s essential requirements and how they match up to your qualifications. This is also called a “T cover letter.”
if you do decide to send a cover letter along with your résumé, in my opinion there is only one format that is worth considering … it’s called the “T” Cover Letter. The name derives from the look of the page itself. Imagine taking a piece of paper and drawing a huge letter “T” on it, with the top line appearing under your opening paragraph, and the vertical line dividing the page below into two equal spaces. The opener should be a brief introduction of who you are, and what position you are interested in (two or three sentences at most.) Then you say something like: “Below is a comparison of your job requirements and my qualifications.”
Now comes the good part: in the “T” chart you’ve drawn, on the left side you have a heading called “Your Job Requirements” under which you copy and paste each of the bulleted requirements listed in the company’s job posting or job description. Then, on the right side you have a heading called “My Qualifications” under which you match up bullet-for-bullet your specific skills and experiences showing how you fit each job requirement on the left.
All that being said, let’s be clear about what a table does and doesn’t do. It does highlight your qualifications for a job in a clear and concise manner. It does not make up for a soul-less, dry cover letter. Don’t be afraid to add some punch and enthusiasm to your writing. Even if you’re not comfortable bragging about yourself, you should — ideally — have some enthusiasm for the job you’re applying to and be able to convey that in one or two sentences.
For suggestions on how to add some flash and flare, click here.
Have any cover letter suggestions? Feel free to leave them in the comment section.