A Job Winning Cover Letter

Posted November 4, 2013 by Sally Calloway in Building Your Brand

New Rules and Proven Strategies for the 21st Century Job Market.

It is often said that a cover letter rarely gets read. I beg to differ. As the Director of Career Services for a career college for 8 years I collaborated with HR Executives across the globe to place interns and graduates. A cover letter can in fact be the deciding factor on which candidates to invite for an interview. Even if the job listing requests only a resume, I recommend that you submit a cover letter as well. A strategically well written cover letter may give you the extra edge and the competitive advantage that is certainly needed in today’s employment market.

Here are some tips and examples for each section:

1. Address and Salutation – Personalizing each letter you submit exhibits initiative and a strong desire to work for that company.


Contact Person’s First and Last Name

Contact Person’s title

Street Address (Include the company address. If it is not noted in the job listing, find it online.)

City, State, Zip 

Re: Position Title

Job or Requisition #: 123456 (Include if noted in the job posting)

Dear Mr. Smith,

(Personalize the cover letter with the name of the hiring manager. If a name is not provided, try to find one on the company website. Many note their HR staff’s names and bios. It is important to include a name when possible. The alternative may be: To Whom It May Concern, or Dear Hiring Manager)

2. Introduction – Show ‘em What ya got

As a sales and marketing professional with over 10 years of experience in time share marketing operations and business development, I have designed initiatives building and executing successful partnership strategies. My proven background with optimal lead generation and customer retention while consistently improving profitability and customer service results are an excellent match for your Director of Marketing Operations position.

(This paragraph should speak to your specific qualifications as they relate to the position. To grab the reader’s attention, note your years of experience (when applicable), education (when applicable) and core competencies that offer value.)

3. Body – Back up Your Game

Some of my career accomplishments include:

  • Personally generated over $5M in total sales over a 1.5 year period.
  • Set a new company record by as much as 100% for new account development and sales volume in a pay cycle.
  • Tripled repeat business over a period of 6 months, adding $600K in incremental new business while overall sales jumped 20% across 4 different locations.

(This section should showcase work performed and quantifiable results. List achievements in bullet format that relate to the objectives of the job description for the position.)

4. Closing – Make the Touch Down

I will follow up with you next Wednesday to arrange an in person interview to discuss in further detail how my sales, leadership and drive can contribute to XYZ company’s operations on a global level. If you would like to reach me in the meantime, you may contact me at 702-555-1212 or via email, youremail@gmail.com.

(Note a brief summary of why you are the best candidate for the position. End with a call to action. And by the way, be sure to use a professional email address for goodness sake. =))

Summary of  cover letter game changers:

  • Craft a cover letter customized to each position you target. One size fits all will no longer cut it.
  • Stand out from the competition by noting career accomplishments that relate to the positions you target. Be strategic with your wording using lingo from your target industry mixed with action verbs.

Grab a Free Cover Letter Sample at www.CareerCoachSally.com


About the Author

Sally Calloway

Sally Calloway is a Career Coach and an Expert Resume Writer known for landing an interview and getting an offer for every position she's applied for. Her passion for career development began back in college when her resume stood out among thousands of applicants landing her an interview to intern for "The Late Show With David Letterman". Bombing the interview ignited her pursuit to help others achieve their career success. Sally coach's job seekers and career changers of all levels, developing a competitive personal brand that resonates with their target audience through various communication platforms; social media profiles, resumes, job applications, job interviews. From college students to C-level executives, Coach Sally provides expertise in communicating a unique value proposition so that even passive career success seekers can stand out, land the job and get promoted.



    As an admin, I love writing properly-formatted letters and think a cover letter would be a great way to show off these skills (writing, grammar, proper business formatting, professionalism) to a prospective employer.

    The only problem is… when you’re sending every application by e-mail, it seems redundant to be including the return address, date, name, business address, and subject since they’re all included in the e-mail itself and would only look foreign to an e-mail. It also goes against common sense to send a cover letter as an attachment.

    I myself write up the whole letter in a Word document with all the details included and then copy and paste only the portion from “Dear Hiring Manager” to the signature into the actual body of the e-mail and only save the detailed letter for my own reference (it helps to remind me where I applied, when, for what job, what I said, contact info, etc.).

    How would *you* go about sending a cover letter through e-mail?


      Hi Stephanie,

      You make great points in your comment!

      Avoid redundancy. Keep track of the details by composing each letter in Word first and save them all.

      In most cases it is best to avoid sending your cover letter as an attachment unless the job listing specifically requests to do so.

      Wishing you prosperity, health and happiness for 2014 and beyond!

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