If all goes well, your cover letter will be so beautifully written and will align so perfectly with the needs of your potential employer that you’ll be called in for an interview immediately. And in that interview, you’ll be presented with a series of questions about your readiness for the position. So in a way, your cover letter is a kind of pre-interview, a document that proves your ability to expertly dispatch a volley of questions in a way that proves you’re right for the job.
So try this exercise: Use your cover letter to answer these questions before your employer has a chance to ask them. Consider this a formatting device, and use it to help you put your words on the page.
Question 1: Who are you and what do you want?
Open your letter by providing an answer that’s respectful, friendly, warm and clear. Let your reader know the title of the job you want and how you found out about it.
Question 2: So you want the account manager job, eh? Why?
You want the job because you have a passion for this type of work, and you have the experience and training that will make you an asset to this company. Explain this in your own words.
Question 3: You SAY you’ll be an asset to this company, but what evidence do you have to back up that claim?
In one paragraph, describe two or three of your proudest and most relevant accomplishments. Then move on to explain the skills and personal traits that prepare you for the challenges of this role.
Question 4: These things are great, but I’m pretty sure I could find similar qualifications in dozens of other candidates. What makes you special?
Wrap up your letter and drive your message home by explaining what you bring to this position that no other applicant can. Sure, other candidates may have skills, but not this exact combination of them. And besides, none of them are better poised to thrive in this culture and this workplace than you are. Explain why.