Activity: Pair Your Resume with a Cover Letter

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Updated August 22, 2022

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Cover letters are one of the aspects of the application process that cause a lot of angst, confusion, and frustration. Candidates wonder if the hiring team even reads them or if the time they spent is wasted. While I cannot vouch for every company’s application review process or every hiring manager’s approach, when I’m recruiting I open the cover letters attached to applications as often as possible. I find they give new insight and add breadth and depth to the resume bullets, which are often generic. Though I cannot guarantee that everyone, or even someone, at the company will read your cover letter, refining your thinking and how you articulate your experience, readiness, and alignment with the requirements of the role is additional practice and preparation for you.

A well-written cover letter is a short, to-the-point pitch about why you are the candidate for this job. It should add something new about your experience and abilities to the application—building upon rather than restating what is in your resume. If you cannot customize your resume to every position, you must tailor your cover letter! To miss the chance to bridge your list of accomplishments and skills with their opportunity and highlight why you chose this position over others out there might mean you don’t get to interview.

You don’t have to overthink or spend hours crafting your cover letter. Building upon the framework below enables you to complement the information presented on your resume, customize the application to the company, and highlight some of what makes you a great candidate.

Find the activity in this Google Doc!

Cover Letter Example

Dear A.R. Tatum,

As a customer of COMPANY, I know firsthand how effective the targeting and messaging of your marketing campaigns are and I want to join your team as the Director of Digital Marketing to play a role in your ongoing success.

From the earliest days of my career, I knew data-driven marketing was my passion. I followed my instincts through progressive roles starting with a stint as a Digital Marketing Specialist at a small startup where I focused on SEM and Analytics and then took on email, paid social, and display efforts. After several years, my former manager recruited me into a Digital Advertising Campaign Manager role at Amazon where I led a high-performing team responsible for >100 campaigns a month before being promoted to Senior Manager of Advertising Performance and Optimization.*

I build programs that get results across channels, whether starting from scratch or scaling and adapting existing efforts. As a leader, I partner cross-functionally to ensure our marketing strategy and metrics tie to business objectives and am a hands-on manager who believes that coaching and feedback empower individuals to succeed in their roles. I’m curious too—I follow industry leaders, research the latest tools and tactics, and continually analyze campaign performance to ensure we’re testing, iterating, and executing the most effective campaigns possible.

I’ve spent years refining my expertise so that when my dream role came around, I’d be ready. The right role is COMPANY’s Senior Director of Marketing. My resume highlights my accomplishments and quantitative examples that demonstrate how I can help COMPANY continue to drive customer acquisition and retention toward sustainable revenue growth. I look forward to exploring this opportunity with you soon.


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