Worst, Good and Perfect Cover Letter Examples

Many large companies are using technology to read your cover letters. Machines are scanning application letters for specific keywords and if they like it then send your application to HR.

So Madeline Mann prepared 3 covering letter examples from worst to good and perfect. Check them out here:

1. The worst (and most common) cover letter

Dear Sir/Madam,

Please find my resume for the position of Executive Assistant. I am experienced in office administration, have excellent problem solving and time management skills. Additionally, I am highly organized and have been successful in working in both individual and group settings.

I strongly believe that my educational experience, strong work ethic, customer service experience, communication skills and eagerness to learn will enable me to make a positive contribution to Gem.

I sincerely thank you for taking the time to review my application. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

[Candidate]

Why is not very good?

It could be for most any job, any company, any industry.
It shows no personality, gives no context to experience, and does not distinguish this person as an individual.
It is awfully long for saying nothing of substance.

Better version

Hi Gem Team,

I’m an administrative professional for a VP at a large technology company looking to make a big impact in an emerging tech startup. As you can see from my resume, I have held a wide variety of roles, and I see this position at Gem as an opportunity for me to embrace my passion for being an assistant while flexing many other muscles by event planning, office management, culture building, and more!

Looking forward to chatting further,

[Candidate]

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Why was this version better?

The “why” they are applying is in the first sentence (looking to make a bigger impact)

It turns a potential negative (this person’s resume is all over the place with different types of roles…rejected!) into a positive (this person has a ton of skills and interests, perfect for a start up the environment…get them on the phone!).

It references that the company they are applying for is a tech start up. This shows they are being deliberate about (or at least paying attention to) the companies they are applying to. This is a very low bar of expectation but many do not meet it! So many job seekers blast their resumes out to dozens of companies without paying attention to where they are actually applying. Break out from the pack! Apply to fewer places and be more specific.

It shows a touch of eagerness and entrepreneurial spirit that startups thrive off of.

It scrapped the formal, “Dear Sir/Madam” and “Sincerely” for a warmer, “Hi Gem Team” and “Looking forward to chatting further.”

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It’s shorter.

2. The best (and rarest) cover letter

worst cover letter example

Hi Madeline,

This is the second time I have applied to Gem because I am determined to become a part of your team. While my resume might come across as left-of-centre, I have whittled away at it to reveal the pointed yet diverse experiences that make me uniquely qualified to be your Executive Assistant at Gem.

Currently, I assist my Executive Director (ED) as the liaison for a roster of several hundred executive-level contacts, one-fifth of whom work for healthcare institutions you may be familiar with via GMOs, such as [Company Name], [Company Name], and [Company Name]. With my partnership management acumen, I have the balance of left- and right-brain sensibilities to make a professional, personable gatekeeper and liaison for your leadership on a day-to-day basis.

Given my entrepreneurial and curious nature, I am constantly researching start-up technologies and their success stories (and failures) to improve workplace efficiency. Recently I implemented project management software to assist the production of a statewide symposium. Ultimately, my research and organization system leveraged additional time to help my ED sell out tickets and close $115K in funding for the event ahead of schedule.

Since the last time I applied, I am even more enthusiastic to find that not only is Gem bringing an elegant technology to the fore, you have translated its immense potential into the field of healthcare data management. I am inspired by the opportunity to support Gem in this arena, as well as supply chain management, and bridge my enterprising and administrative capacities with a personal passion for wellness.

Best,

[Candidate]

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What stood out about this letter?

They start out by showing great eagerness by announcing they have applied before. Without a cover letter, this candidate could appear that they are just constantly applying to EA roles, not taking note of which companies they are applying to. Instead, they show that they are deliberate and persistent—excellent!

They show interest and expertise in the healthcare industry—an industry we work closely with. This suggests they have specialized knowledge and will likely find our work compelling.

They reference improving workplace efficiency. This shows that they both take the initiative to improve their workplace (right in line with our “Make it Happen” company value) and they seek out ways to learn and level up (in line with our “Seek Knowledge” value). Adding this paragraph shows that they understand the kind of person we are looking for.

The closing paragraph reiterates specific interest in the company and the role (instead of stating something dry and generic).

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