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Modern-day cover letter is your introduction—of any kind—to the employer.
There are essentially three ways this occurs:
1. Cover Letter
2. Email (with attached resume)
3. Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
Your “cover letter” has three goals:
1. Explain why you’ve contacted the employer.
2. Provide insight on who you are and what you offer.
3. Show enthusiasm and interest in hearing (back) from the employer.
You can accomplish these three goals in four sentences, which I discuss in the video. You can also grab the free download to see the exact format!
If you have haven’t seen How To Build the Ultimate Professional Resume, check it out because some of the cover letter content references your resume. Get that RESUME TEMPLATE HERE:
Andrew LaCivita is an internationally recognized executive recruiter, award-winning author, trainer, and founder and chief executive officer of milewalk and the milewalk Academy. He’s dedicated his career to helping people and companies realize their potential, consulting to more than two hundred organizations and counseling more than eleven thousand individuals. He often serves as a trusted media resource and is the author of Interview Intervention, Out of Reach but in Sight, and The Hiring Prophecies.
ABOUT TIPS FOR WORK AND LIFE®
Tips for Work and Life® is a weekly careers, hiring, and motivational show full of helpful job search strategies, career management and acceleration tactics, recruitment techniques, and self-help aids with award-winning author, executive recruiter, and trainer Andrew LaCivita. Tips for Work and Life® has been cited by several sources as a Top 100 Careers and HR Blog. He includes these 7-20 minute multicast shows filmed with no teleprompter in one take as part of his blog and podcast.
Hi Everyone! I know cover letters are tough. This is a case of quality over quantity because employers are busy and they want you to get to the point. Let me know what questions you have and I'll be happy to help. Also, make sure to grab the FREE COVER LETTER TEMPLATE: http://bit.ly/4sentencecoverletter. Now, let me have those questions!
Hi Andrew, I wanted to share with you some incredible news. I first discovered your channel after 4 failed job interviews and desperately needed help. I watched several of your videos and put into practice your very very good advice. I even remember commenting on a video a month or so ago saying I'm going to use your advice and to wish me luck!...
I'm happy to report I was successful in securing my dream job on a permanent basis! I start in January and can't wait to get started. Here's the amazing part.. I used the advice in this particular video and emailed a company word for word when they decided to decline my application. Yesterday they came back to me and asked if I was still interested and how impressed they were with my attitude and the email after such bad news. I politely told them iv been hired by their biggest competitors.. Their managing director personally called me to say "it was a huge error and an oversight to have not hired me for the job at the time" ...( Get this) ( ready??) he goes on to say...
"should something happen in future please don't hesitate to get in touch with me directly if your circumstances change"!!!! I'm totally blown away!!! 😁😁
Lovely Video! Apologies for the intrusion, I would love your initial thoughts. Have you researched - Rozardner Lucky Interview Reality (Sure I saw it on Google)? It is a smashing exclusive product for firefighter interview tips minus the normal expense. Ive heard some incredible things about it and my mate after many years got amazing success with it.
yes. don't give them an answer. you can also check out what the best answer to the expected salary question and why everything you think about salary negotiation is wrong. 2 videos on my channel you should make sure to catch!
I like the presentation but my company is very weird: when we apply internally, our cover letter has to address the bullet requirements for a specific job. The letter is only viewed by a computer program. Otherwise the application won't go through! It feels a bit cheap.
Not exactly sure if this helps me very much as a student with no work experience looking for an internship. Not sure what to put as an accomplishment if I haven't really done anything of note other than taking some classes.
I'm not sure why I looked this up right after I handed in my resume to a job I really want, but I'm literally going to write up a cover letter and go back and hand it in right now. Edit: it looks good! Gonna head of now and do this. I have a good feeling.
Andrew, I can't thank you enough. I've been unemployed for 6 months but the first time I tried this 4 sentence cover letter, I got a response and now an offer!
2 huge takaways: 1) "You have to show people how to think" - It's hard for engineers to talk to non tech-types sometimes. Use the cover letter to show HR/the pre-screener where to point their eyeballs on your resume.
and 2) "I welcome the opportunity .... for this OR ANY position". Because I showed that I was open, they made a new position for me. I was so clearly able to demonstrate my accomplishments that someone said "Actually, I could use her in MY department."
I realize now that a lot of my old cover letters were disingenuous, long-winded groveling. Boo. But this, this works! Cheers
Hi Andrew. I'm currently searching for a graduate position and would like to ask you if this method would be appropriate. I'm conflicted as to which method I should approach. I love your method because how simple and effective it is, but I'm also anxious that hiring managers would prefer the more traditional method where you should mention what I can offer them, my skills, and why I want to work there. Most of the time, the resume and cover letters are submitted through an application process. Thoughts?
for "any other position in your organization" doesn't that sound a bit desperate? Also, if I have fine-tuned my resume for a very specific job (e.g.: specialized Engineer) how would that sentence make sense?
+Andrew LaCivita Thanks for the answer! You misread - my question was if it also makes sense, if you are employed (I wrote not unemployed - bad choice of words for fast readers :) ... btw I am going to use your CL format - thanks for sharing it.
Zara, I would ESPECIALLY put that in if I was unemployed. You're only feeling desperation on the inside. Others don't notice as easily as you think and they can only tell if you are behaving that way or explicitly saying that!
+Andrew LaCivita Thank you for your reply! Got your point about unknown opportunities - I am literally sitting over this last sentence of my application ...
I would like to ask you one more question, if I may: Would you consider it different if one is not unemployed? I have the feeling that - beside it is untrue - I would ooze desperation, if I state that I would prefer any job over my current one?
Zara, great question. I realize your resume is tailored but there are loads of other opportunities within organizations you are unaware of. I got more than a dozen emails last week from people who've told me that that sentence got them a job at a company which was not the one they applied to. The recruiters mentioned that sentence prompted them to pause and think about other options. This happens every single week for me.
Last time I applied for a job was in November, using this technique for the first (and only) time in my cover letter. I didn't hear anything from them until now, late January, and they are "very interested" and called me for an interview. So for me, using this technique I am One out of One, 100%.
Thank you for your posts, after your resume tips and cover letter tips I started getting calls from companies to the point it was annoying. Any tips for a cover letter in a platform like Upwork where you are making proposals for translation work?
You don't know how much this has helped me in my search for a job. Recently graduated high school and I've had a hard time dealing with resumes and cover letters. Your videos have helped me immensely and I will forever appreciate you for this.
Hi again Andew. A whole lot of people say that you should find out the name of the HR Manager to address your application. However, do you think this is a good idea? I don't really know if the managers are the ones who are supposed to receive these applications; if they are not, do you think some may be annoyed by that? Also, I read in an article in zety.com that it would be better to send an email application directly to them even if the company has an application portal on their website. What are your thoughts about this?
Thank you very much in advance.
Carlos! Yes, find the hiring manager. Always. They will not be annoyed, especially if you’re a great fit. Yes, send an application directly via email to them even if they have an open position on their career portal. Direct contact is ALWAYS better.
How do you deal with career failure? Lets say at your last position, a legitimate mistake cost you your job at that company? you were a good employee in other aspects, but your mistake potentially cost your previous employer an important contract or customer. How do you recover from that?
There is no easy answer but the way I approach these things (big mistakes, big failures, learning experiences, and so on) is to have faith that I was supposed to go through it and adopt a learning mindset and I believe I’m being prepared for something bigger. That’s how I approach those situations in my mind. In the interview, you need to talk about what you learned and how you’re now better for it. Hope that helps.
I like the idea of the 4 sentence cover letter, it can work very well, gives them more time to jump over to your resume. On that note....
Professional hiring managers DO NOT need to be told to "read your resume", it's literally the only other piece of information you submit to them and if they're interested they WILL read your resume and they WILL contact you if they want. You absolutely do not have to hold their hand or tell them how to do their job or suggest that a different position would also work, they already know all of this stuff because they are professionals. You would never say "you need to hire me" just as you don't need to say "you need to call me" or "I am applying" or "I want the job" that is all intrinsic and obvious.
Voting and Pepsi ads are different, you can direct them to action because you are advertising to literally hundreds of millions of people.
Interesting points. I get emails every single day from people who get hired for different positions who share with me the companies mentioned to them the “other position” remark is what prompted them to consider them for alternate positions. The reason these minor suggestions or alerts are so helpful is not because people don’t know what to do. They’re effective because people are moving at such a breakneck pace they often don’t think about it or consider it.
You can use this one and replace your accomplish with internship work or school projects. Also, I have a cover letter playlist on YouTube with more cover letters you can use for different situations. You can make the appropriate adjustments to those too!
Thanks for the advice. I will be using it to write my first cover letter ever. I started at my current company when I was 18 and have worked there for over 13 years, so I've never needed to write a cover letter before.
+Andrew LaCivita Hi Mr.LaCivita, i hope you are great I have an assumption, should i go to the corporations and hand in my resume in person or ask for referrals, i wanna show I really want the job? thanks
Main assumption: Don't make cover letter lengthy because time is limited.
What to put in the letter:
1) Basic Introduction
2) State position you are applying for
3) Explain why you are good candidate and give evidence
4) Conclude with a request for interview and make sure they know you are open to all positions
Recently I applied for a job through monster. com. Their home page where I had to fill in my personal details was barely visible. Could this be a fake webpage. I also had to select if I was disabled and one of the option was mental. This is an outdated way of describing a psychiatric issue.
Hi, Andrew! Thank you for the great clips and the tips you've been sharing to us. I've followed the template and all the tips from your vid but I am just wondering if we should put a little bit of the company background on the cover letter just to make the hiring manager knows that we know about the company well?
Keywords are important .. include as many keywords as possible relevant to your background and position you are seeking.
Think about this - what keywords is the recruiter likely to search for if they are staffing for your intended position? Then put those keywords or combination of keywords into your resume, preferably at the top.
Hi Andrew, your 4 sentences cover letter insights are awesome. However, I have a question. I am wondering how can I structure a good sentence regarding where I found the job opportunity and when did I find this job. Briefly, I need to know the structure of this sentence. I would appreciate your comment on this.
Hi Andrew, just wondering if this 4 sentence applies to recent graduate as well? In my case, I am applying for a company I have previously interned and they recruiting graduates at the moment. I have no other related experience apart from the other internship. What are some ways I could make my cover letter stands out better due to lack of experience?
When you say "the top portion of my attached resume highlights my career profile & significantly accomplishments that are also in alignment with this position" do I write it exactly like that or insert my 3 accomplishments with the position?
Hi Andrew! Love a lot of your videos, I have a question that I think you could help me out.
You stated in making cover letter that we need to write "I offer XX years of experience and I am strong candidate for the position", in my case, I only have three work experiences in total of 3 years (1 year on each company), but all of my work are in a startup, a new company, and a private business which makes me do a lot of tasks from scratch and figure it out by myself, I mean the company I worked was not settled yet, so I never experience working in a settled condition (ex: multinational company or big company) which maybe they have a specific set of rules or a specific set of steps on how to perform a task/duty.
I not sure how do I explain myself in the cover letter and tell them I'm the strong candidate because I didn't know whether all of my work until now is correctly performed or not since I didn't receive many guidance/mentorship and all companies I worked for is new companies which they are still developing themself.
I hope you understand my question, sorry if something is not clear.
Thank you very much and keep up making valuable videos! Cheers!
Hi Andrew! I'm a teenager seeking casual employment for the first time, therefore have no experience working wise. In the cover letter, you state that you should say
"I offer [insert number of years] years of experience [insert your specialty here] and excellent [insert related skills that will help you perform the job here] skills, which should make me a strong candidate for this opening."
What should I write in this paragraph instead?
Thank you for the tips! how would you approach a few gap years due to a full time stay at home mother? (I am proud of these as well!) My experience is wide and unconventional, I think that is probably my 'forte' but it is some years ago.... thanks in advance!
Maya, there are a couple things you can do, but don’t try to make an explanation in the work experience section of your resume. Just leave the gap. You can explain it in the cover letter, email, or application if you’d like. You can also put it at the very bottom of your resume. If you performed any volunteer related acts during your stay at home mom period it’s a nice touch to include those at the bottom too. Also, if you head to www.andrewlacivita.com, and type in stay at home mom in the search bar, I have a free ebook for stay at home parents!
Thank you!!! Writing specialized intricate cover letters for each prospective employer has been daunting and what has held me back from applying for a new job.
This was so simple, yet so powerful and I’m going to apply it right now!
THANK YOU!!! 🙌🏻
Thank you!!! I somehow manage to get a job (my first job) that I’ve been at for 3 years now but I’m currently looking for a second job. I literally had nothing but 1 job that i worked at for 2 weeks. But now I’m looking for a second job, I’m planning to hustle my resume in person, online, everywhere, and I’m not going to take ANY chances, i want it to look as polished as possible. I want to be given a chance. I’ll definitely watch this again along with your other videos within the following weeks. Thank you for this!
Trying it out,I hope it helps.
Also the cover letter could work out just fine but I think I always mess up in the interviews. Could you please take about interviews,how we should respond to questions,the dos and don'ts of interviews and any other tips.thanks
Diana! I have an entire playlist on job interviewing and I also give away my award-winning book Interview Intervention for FREE. You can get the Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook, and more for free when you pay $7 Shipping and Handling. Get that here: https://www.milewalkacademy.com/p/free-hardcover-copy-of-interview-intervention. Check out the entire interviewing playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxjGQaV8rAh31XjOpXApfzfs2L8S5gKfp. And, join me on my YouTube channel on Thursdays for live office hours!
I just stumbled upon this video it's super helpful thank you I will implement it from now on. I do have one question though if you are a recent graduate with no work experience should this format work as well or are there any variations that would be better? Thank you!
Thank you so much for this video. I honestly thought I knew everything about writing cover letters; however, you truly openedmy eyes to how I can greatly improve my cover letters and also get it more interviews.
Thank you so much.
Because he was an angel, Castiel initially expressed almost no emotion towards humans, and had little room for disobedience or feelings, as he was driven to follow his orders, although he does reveal some doubts about the morality of his orders, expressing an appreciation for the beauty of humans as Gods creations. As he spends more time with Dean, he develops empathy and affection for him, and eventually for those close to him, and humans in general. Castiels superiors begin to question his loyalty and promote Uriel to oversee him. Castiel eventually rebels against and is ostracised from heaven, leaving him deprived of most of his angelic abilities, forcing him to interact more with humans than he had previously. He is often confused by the finer details of human interaction and is blind to social norms. He allies himself with Dean, and despite his despondency over the absence of his maker and their desperate situation, Castiel continues to fight against the Apocalypse.
After his second resurrection by God, with enhanced abilities, he sees his decisions and support of freewill to have been affirmed. Castiel begins to show pride, while remaining somewhat naive with regard to consequences. Crowley is able manipulate this budding sense of pride to get Castiel to start the angelic civil war. Castiel becomes dedicated to his own decisions, and tends to pass over other opinions, even Deans, in the absence of another clear course. He eventually double-crosses Crowley, taking in the souls of Purgatory alone. He then insists on worship from his former friends. He intends to be an involved god, a better and loving god who will not abandon the world. He renounces his dedication to free will, saying that angels need a firm hand. He is quick to smite those he feels to be hypocritical and unjust, and rewards those who have faith. However, Castiel is being influenced by entities inside him - including leviathans - and his actions become erratic and violent. He realizes he is not strong enough to contain the power, and at a prompt from Sam, he goes to the brothers for help. He is apologetic and humbled; after the souls are out of him he wants to find a way to redeem himself before the brothers. He eventually takes Sams madness on himself, freeing Sam.
In episode 5.14 My Bloody Valentine, Castiel shows his deep affection towards raw meat, eating it in the room and unable to get to famine, one of the four horsemen. Here, we realize that Castiels vessel, Jimmy Novak is desiring the food which he cannot gain access to with the angel possessing him.
Castiels insanity after taking on Sams memories of Hell seems to free him of some of his guilt, though it leaves his mind scattered. He was unwilling to fight due to his belief that he is a "jinx," though Dean convinces him to help kill Dick Roman. He also expresses some fondness for Meg despite the previous animosity that existed between them. However, after getting trapped in Purgatory, Castiel seemed to have regained his sanity, though he admitted there is no way to know for sure. However, his experiences have changed his personality somewhat and he is no longer as aloof as he usually is and has displayed a fondness for human things he took for granted such as watching television, which he never understood before.
4.01 Lazarus Rising.