Framework for the old fashioned cover letter / by Marlous Teh

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This is a framework my mentor Albert Lim gave me in 2012. Although the whole scene of applying for jobs and career prospects have completely changed and the content might be a bit dated, I find the principle questions are still relevant for a necessary cover letter and I’ve added some new thoughts too. Note that this is more for the body of the cover letter and doesn’t highlight other necessary headings.


1) Address the position.
E.g. “I am very pleased to present my application for the position of.. as advertised in... on... My [name recent, passionate and strong achievements] have proven to be my most recent achievements that strongly qualify me as a [name of position title and maybe even in your own words without losing the exact same meaning of the position] or that make me a qualified candidate for the job….”

How does the position align with your experience and/or what you want to do in the future? What are things you would be looking forward to in the role (including challenges and things you’re good at)


2) Why I am good for the job.
Why are you the right match for this job and what skills / attitude are you bringing? Match your skills to the work requirements in a practical statement - show confidence without being overly confident. Exemplify where you demonstrated your skills that are needed in the job. E.g. your daily / weekly responsibilities or actions/achievements in certain projects.


3) Why the company is good for me.

Do some research here and find angles that really align with your own values/interests. E.g. “Being a passionate advocate about X or Having a high regard for X etc is highly in line with my developed interest in X for the last ten years. Or The exposure the company can provide me, Is a great learning platform to develop more knowledge about an area I am passionate about.”


4) Why you’re both good together.

What are the mutual benefits for each other. How are values / approach / cultural fit aligned.

E.g. I feel that I can positively contribute to ..., because of my experience in X and in return this could lead to an increase in engagement/diversity of experience/enthusiasm/energy/connections/etc..


5) Follow up response.

E.g. I am very keen to be in touch with you in two weeks/four weeks (depending on what the ad says) time to follow up on the progress.


6) Conclusion.

“Thank you for your time etc. etc.”


Would love to hear other ideas and suggestions for a cover letter framework. Please leave a comment below. Thanks so much!