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Sample Cover Letter and Formula

Cover letters aren’t fun for anybody to write.  We at TransparentCareer are here to help.  We created a formula for you to follow when writing your cover letters, along with an example to check out. Be careful though.  If the company has specific instructions for cover letters, you should follow those instead.  


Make sure to address the letter to specific person when possible, and keep it to one page.  If you’re looking for more help with your cover letter, take a look at our 7 Cover Letter Tips here. (link)


Dear (Name of Hiring Coordinator)


Opener: Mention relevant experience or story related to the company that connects to your interest with the position to which you’re applying.  If you used to perform in play productions in high school, this is a great introduction to a position managing finances at a theater. Grab their attention and make it clear you’re looking to work for a passion, not a paycheck.   


Body paragraph 1 – Should mention a previous experience that should help in the day to day aspects of the job.  Applying for an office gig?  Talk about all of those spreadsheets you made interning at your local bank last summer.


Body paragraph 2 – Any example you can provide of going beyond what was expected of you and applying to something you can offer at the new job.  Using that bank internship (but diversify as much as you can) as an example again, tell the story of that one time your boss was sick and you had to give the presentation.  You proved that you were confident to present info you worked on, and also that you’re comfortable with public speaking.  Talk about what that experience brings to the table.


Closer/3 Example:  A third experience is great to mention, but if you’ve already written a lot, don’t sweat it – your cover letter should never exceed a page.  Use this space to mention another story and connect it to the position, and if you don’t have one discuss why you believe you’re an asset to the team.


Conclusion:  Thank the reader for their time, and conclude with how your experiences connect to key aspects of the job.  Mention hopefully speaking with them in the future.


Dear Mrs. Smith,


I’ve been involved with animals my entire life thanks to my mom being a veterinarian.  I remember from a young age helping her take care of animals, including a hurt bird we found in our back yard.  Although I love animals, I also love math, which is why I studied accounting in college.  I believe this position as a Financial Planner at the Lincoln Park Zoo is a perfect fit for my two passions and that my experiences make me an ideal candidate.


In the summer of 2016, I interned at a bank in downtown Chicago.  My typical day consisted of creating spreadsheets to create financial models, and  then breaking down these models into presentations for our clients.  At Fake Bank, I was able to connect my passion for math with helping clients for their financial goals, be they investment portfolios or their retirement plan.  Due to Lincoln Park Zoo having no admission fees, every dollar counts.  I want to help the zoo plan for the future and make sure that it’s free for animal lovers for years to come.


My local animal shelter means a lot to me, and I volunteered there everyday after school during high school, and every time I come home now that I’m in college.  Last year the shelter asked me to run an adoption day in a nearby park, which involved publicizing the event online and organizing the animals.  Our goal was to have thirty adoptions by the end of the day, but seventy pets found new homes that day.  I was able to demonstrate and improve my organizational skills through this, and found homes for an additional 300 animals in adoption events I’ve organized since then.  


All of my endeavors have been to further my passion for animals, and I’ve been lucky to get to use my math skills to help make that happen.  Thank you for your time in reading this.  I believe that my experiences with finance and organization make me an ideal candidate to be a financial planner at the Lincoln Park Zoo, and I hope you will take me into consideration.  I look forward to helping the zoo achieve its financial goals, and hope to speak with you soon.



Bob Jones


Need more career help?  Take a look at our guide for writing the perfect resume here, and don’t forget our list of cover letter tips here.


Questions or comments?  Reach out.


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