Veteran Cover Letter

If you see a job posting online and it sounds perfect for you, it's wise to submit not only your resume, but also a customized cover letter. But transitioning servicemembers often struggle with constructing an effective cover letter.

It's important to remember that the cover letter, like the resume, is a marketing tool. Use it to show how you can help the company in question.

Obviously, different applicants' cover letters will look quite different from one another. But here's a sample of what a good letter might look like.

Dear (insert name or "Hiring Manager" if name is unknown):

Your advertisement on for a (insert job title) fits my experience and qualifications perfectly, and I am writing to express my interest in and enthusiasm for the position. As a former servicemember and accomplished sales leader, I have achieved consistent revenue growth for leading corporations during my career.

In addition to my desire to join your team, you will find I am a dedicated and driven professional whose recent accomplishments include:

* An increase of international sales from 1 percent of the company's total revenue to 75 percent.

* Dramatic expansion of customer base, leading to revenue growth rates that far exceed the pace of larger, more established competitors.

* Development of professional relationships and networks within the sales industry.

* Attainment of 100 percent customer retention rate through expert relationship-building skills and a commitment to a solution-focused, service-first sales approach.

* Launch of a new office, expected to double sales revenue by 2003.

Your products are truly on the cutting edge of (industry) -- you offer products that can change the way a company conducts business. I am excited by this prospect and would be able to translate this excitement to a business benefit for your current and future clients. If you agree that my qualifications are a close fit to your needs, I would be delighted to meet with you personally to discuss strategies for expanding (name of company's) market presence.

I will follow up with you in a few days to answer any questions you may have. In the meantime, you may reach me at (phone number) or via email at (email address). I look forward to our conversation.

Sincerely, Dina Smith

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is intended to introduce you to a potential employer. It displays your skills and how you will be of benefit to the company.  It accompanies your resume and is the first thing an employer will read. Often times, it is the determining factor as to whether your resume will be reviewed and if you will be contacted for an interview.

Employers are able to tell if a cover letter is ‘generic’, meaning the same form letter is sent to all employers. In this case, the cover letter and accompanying letter is usually discarded. Therefore, it is critical to tailor each cover letter to the specific employer.

An effective cover letter should list why you are interested in the company, and skills that show how you can benefit the company. There are three basic topics to include: why you are writing, what you have to offer, and how you will follow up. The ‘why you are writing’ section should include where you heard of the position and the position title, or that you are inquiring about any position openings. ‘What you have to offer’ should include any relevant achievements and what you can bring to the table to fulfill the position requirements. ‘How you will follow up’ should include restating your interest in the position and how the employer can reach you.

Remember, an effective cover letter is your key to getting your foot in the door. Click below for examples of sample cover letters.

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