The Cure For “Me-Me-Me” Cover Letters

Do you want to avoid your cover letter being more about you and less about your reader? I have an easy solution. As a rule, I encourage all of my clients to make sure the first thing the cover letter says is the name of the company they are writing. For example, “Smith & Sons is currently recruiting for a Director of Communications. The desired skills emphasized in your company’s posting include blah, blah, and blah.” By starting the letter that way, the focus is immediately on the reader’s needs. Starting a letter with something like, “I saw your ad for a Director of Communications and would like to submit my resume for consideration,” makes the letter more about the candidate’s needs and increases the chances the rest of the letter will follow the “me-me-me” pattern.

Once you’ve started your letter with a focus on the company’s objectives, it’s easy to highlight the skills and abilities you have that satisfy the job’s requirements while still making it about the reader. “My background in blah allowed me to develop and refine the skills Smith & Sons noted to be crucial for this opportunity.” Go on to give a concise account of the skills/abilities you have that would be most relevant to the opportunity. Concise is the operative word. Be sure whatever you note either ties directly to the job posting or indicates a way you are able to improve the bottom line of the company (efficiency, cost savings, diversity of skill, growing/recapturing/retaining business).

All that is left to do is to close the letter in a confident and gracious way. Thank them for reviewing your resume, stress your interest in the opportunity and state you are looking forward to an interview where you can discuss, in greater depth, how your background compliments the position’s requirements.

There is no written in stone way cover letters must be done, but I can tell you many of my clients have had great results by following this simple formula.

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