DerrJones Recruiting Solutions

Resume Cover Letter Samples

You want to see cover letter samples because you think when you apply for a job you need one. As a recruiter, I'm torn. I know what the certified resume experts will tell you...a resume cover letter is critical to your success in the job search process. A well crafted cover letter will make you stand out from the crowd.

In theory, I can agree with the experts, but with first hand knowledge of how busy recruiters really screen candidates, this text book approach is not fool proof!

Resume Cover Letter Samples

In my world, a cover letter is fluff, so showing you some cover letter samples was not high on my priority list. I don't grant interviews based on cover letters. I never forward your cover letter onto my client. In fact, I almost never read them. In my world, resumes reign supreme!

So, why talk about resume cover letters at all?

To keep you out of trouble! If you're intent on including a cover letter, then it should help you, not hurt you.

You spend hours pouring over your drafts - and change the letter for each new opportunity you pursue. If you are going to take the time to craft and send a cover letter, make sure it works to your advantage - and not against you!

A resume cover letter can run the gamut from a short transmittal letter to a full narrative version of your resume. My preference is a short transmittal that includes a few key word highlights and closes with a request for an interview.

Something like this...

Resume Cover Letter Samples

John Q. Public
245 Metropark Boulevard
Anytown, NY 12345
212.555.1234 (Home)
212.555.5678 (Office)

November 24, 20XX

Ms. Mary A. Manager
VP Sales
ABC Widget Company
123 Main Street
Big City, OH 23456

RE: Regional Sales Manager

Dear Ms. Manager:

I have enclosed my resume in response to your advertisement for a Regional Sales Manager supporting your critical widget division.

As an award winning sales manager, I believe that my qualifications closely match your requirements. Some of my significant accomplishments include:

  • Exceeded personal and team new business goals by 20% in each of the past 5 years.
  • A strong track record of managing a field sales organization. In my current role, I have 25 account executives reporting to me, including 5 national account representatives, 5 sales engineers, and 15 account executives.
  • Successful direction of a new product launch in 2007, driving sales to $50 million in the first 12 months.
  • P & L responsibility for my division. Responsible for creating and managing multi-million operational budgets and sales forecasts.

I would welcome an opportunity to discuss how my experience can benefit ABC Widget in more detail. I look forward to hearing from you.


John Q. Public

Resume Cover Letter Do's and Don'ts

Bullet points should track key requirements you know about from the job advertisement, your networking contacts, etc. If you can't easily map your experience to these key requirements, you might need to re-think whether this opportunity is right for you.

For those of you who think a busy hiring manager is going to read your three page resume cover letter, take another look at our cover letter samples. If you insist on length, here are some pointers to increase the chance of your letter having some impact:

  • Open with a hook - use some quick bullet points that match the requirements of the position so the hiring manager knows you're qualified.
  • Don't just rehash your resume. This letter needs to supplement - not repeat - what shows up on your resume.
  • Try to expand on things that are relevant to the position you're applying for. Use something from the ad, your research, etc. to tell the story of a particular accomplishment.
  • Keep in mind your contribution, your role - not the role of your team.
  • Edit - and then edit again. If you're using this expanded format, your writing skills better be stellar. No fluff, just substance. Put together a compelling story. Spell check, grammar check, and then...
  • Proofread to make sure that your communication is perfect.

Keep in mind what we've talked about before. You have about 15-20 seconds to get the attention of the person reviewing your resume. Your resume cover letter needs to make connections quickly between your skills and the job at hand.

My advice? Perfect something short and let your resume do the work! If in doubt, re-study our cover letter samples and take our advice!

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