The cursor is blinking.
Your fingers are just above the keyboard poised to type the cover letter for your dream job. However, there’s one big problem. You just can't seem to figure out how to start the letter.
And then there’s a flood of ideas. “I write to express my interest….” “I am happy to write to you…” amongst others. Except, these are poor examples of an introduction of a cover letter. However, before you can write a captivating cover letter, from introduction to conclusion, you’ll need a sound resume.
A cover letter is never complete without an excellent resume. Because many companies now use an Applicant Tracking System, a poor resume won't make the cut, even with a gripping cover letter. That’s why you have to take the time to review and tailor your resume to each job application. There are lots of resume maker templates available at ResumeBuild’s website that you can piggyback on. Once that’s done, writing your cover letter becomes easier.
Here are seven examples of how to begin your cover letter in a way that grips any reader.
Start with your Background and Professional Qualifications
As a digital marketer with 6 years worth of experience, I am skilled at SEO, SEM, and CRM. I have delivered value for over 20 companies increasing return on advertising spend by an average of 5%.
This example is memorable and rings in the mind of any reader for a long time.
Sara McCord, who has reviewed hundreds of cover letters, writes this about similar examples. “See how these examples make you want to keep reading? That’s half the battle right there.
Start with a Belief Statement
“As one who believes there's nothing better than improving the lives of others, I am an avid social worker. I have organized and spearheaded causes including Run for Life, A Healthy Life, and Homes for the Homeless.”
This type of introduction conveys your perspective on life. From the onset, they know they are dealing with someone who buys into their philosophy.
Start with a Creative Story
“We were at our wit’s end. We had a good product but the sales were abysmal. I looked at my marketing team and said: “we're gonna make this product sell.” Two years and several marketing tactics later, the product was our company's bestseller. I have always been the marketer who gets results.”
If you have a creative writing superpower, your cover letter is one of the best platforms to unleash it. Such intros work best for companies that are sold on stories and experiences.
Start with a Passion Statement
“I am passionate about helping students with autism learn. My desire to make my child’s life easier in the face of autism drove me to acquire a degree in teaching and psychology.”
If you are a hiring manager for such a teaching position, you’re sure to take a good look at this application. You can immediately see the applicant’s passion and what spurs the person on.
Start with Enthusiasm About the Company
"When I discovered Accounting Solutions was hiring, I knew I had to apply. I've been waiting to find a company where I feel like I can make a difference while working as an accountant. Not only are your clients awesome, but the overall mission of your company is something I believe in, too."
This example from Glassdoor ticks all the right boxes under “enthusiasm.” Starting by mentioning the company and why you are pumped about them works on the soft side of hiring managers.
Start with a Mutual Connection
“Having worked for 4 years on 5 data analytics projects with John Smith, your data scientist, his advice that I apply for this position came in handy. I was further taken when I read and reviewed the role description for this opening as it fits with my career goals.”
Assuming John Smith is a respected person in that organization, your cover letter would certainly command a level of attention.
Start with Humor
“If we were playing “Two Truths and a Lie,” I’d say the following: I’ve exceeded my sales quotas by at least 20% every quarter this year, I once won an international pie-eating contest, and I have an amazing job at Yext. The last, of course, is the lie. For now.”
This example from Muse is a good example of what a humorous cover letter intro sounds like. It is witty, informative and is likely to be rewarded with more than a laugh.
Just like a resume, a cover letter is a marketing pitch. Your first sentence or introduction, in general, can make a difference. Take advantage of the seven examples highlighted above and make your cover letter stand out.