The new style that makes writing cover letters easy
Writing cover letters can be the bane of some candidates’ existence. It is one thing to create a resume of ones’ accomplishments in the Action/Result format. It is another thing altogether to have to creatively sell yourself in engaging, personable language with each job posting. Here to save the day is the ‘T letter’. [View a sample T-Style cover letter.]
The T letter can be used if you possess 75-80% of the job requirements. It does not require complete sentences or fancy verbiage, merely a line here and there out of your already cleverly crafted resume.
Open the letter with a power phrase expressing your interest in the position and how you’re the right fit for it, like this:
“When I read about the job for a Sales and Marketing Manager for Greenbelt Environmental Products on the Workopolis.com site on September 7th, I knew immediately that this was a position of great interest to me.”OR “With 15 plus years in accelerated sales and marketing roles in consumer goods, I am greatly interested in the position you posted on Workopolis for a Sales and Marketing Manager.”
Add a simple line stating: “As the following comparison shows, my qualifications match the requirements of the position very well.”
As per this sample, you will make two columns. The left hand side is a list of Your Requirements, the main skills and accomplishments required of the job. In the right hand column match each requirement with an applicable qualification, ergo, My Qualifications. Make each point succinct, with a quantitative result if possible. “Initiated and directed the implementation of a business plan that increased national market share by 300% +.”
This style of cover letter uses a lot of white space but is favoured by hiring managers and resume screeners. They easily tick off each point they’ve cited in the posting against each of your responses, no guessing.
If you do not have a requirement, leave it out of the letter altogether. For example if they want a University degree and you have college with 5 or more years experience, put it in.
You are now ready for the power close. Keep it simple:
“I look forward to meeting with you personally to further explore the contributions I can make to Greenbelt and how we can build a strong and highly productive sales team.”
Give them a benefit statement, why they should interview you.
The hardest part of writing this style of letter is getting all the important requirements into a one page letter and to get the two columns to line up.
By the way, this format of letter is called the T Letter because if you drew a line under the power opening sentence and between the two columns, you have a T. [View a sample T-Style cover letter.]
Colleen Clarke, Career Specialist and Corporate Trainer
Author of Networking How To Build Relationships That Count and How To Get A Job and Keep It