I once wrote a cover letter that a VP photocopied & passed around the office as “the best one she ever read in her 35 years in HR.”

When I read that cover letter now, I can see how I would improve it. But, I see the good of what the VP saw in the cover letter. It was honest and tailored for the specific role and company. It wasn’t a perfect letter, but it hit the mark and felt genuine.

People often come to me with resume concerns. After we do resume work, I’ll ask about the cover letters and they’ll either say, “I don’t need one” (not true) or “I have a template for that.”

The problem with templates, is they are usually:

  • boring to use
  • boring to read
  • don’t communicate anything past what your resume says
  • don’t help you to understand if the job is for you

I teach an 8-step process for writing cover letters.

The two must-haves when writing a cover letter

  1. Why you want this job with this company. Write out 10 reasons. Choose one and tell them that in the first paragraph.
  2. What can you offer them? This is not the place to list everywhere you ever worked or everything you accomplished — you do that in your resume. Tell them what they will get if they hire you. If you have no answer to these 2 questions it’s a way of letting yourself know it isn’t an ideal job. If you can’t get excited about it now, when will you?

If you struggle with writing cover letters, I created a “Writing Authentic Cover Letters” course.

It has the 8 step process, recordings, writing prompts, and samples to make cover letter writing a joy. It’s for you if any of these are happening for you:

  • You apply for jobs but aren’t sure if you really want them.
  • You know you should send a cover letter, but you aren’t sure what to say in it.
  • Every cover letter you write follows a boring template and you find yourself hoping they don’t read it.
  • You get calls for jobs, but you don’t remember why you applied for the role and blow the screening call.
  • You want to write a letter that is impactful, and enjoyable to read. You find yourself wishing you had sent something better out.
  • You waste valuable time avoiding the cover letter and struggle to get started.

And of course, I share that a copy of my best cover letter too.

If cover letters are something you struggle with I created a self-led course called Writing Authentic Cover Letters.

Step-by-step audio training on:

  • What a company wants to see in your cover letter
  • When and why to use stories in your cover letter (plus I share the
  • Persuasive power of building recognition with keywords and how to use them.
  • 8-Page Action Guide & Checklist to Help You Write More Authentic Cover Letters
  • A step-by-step process for writing authentic cover letters … no matter what sector.

Sign up here.


Kerri Twigg

Career Coach | Mindfulness and Stories Training for Career Contentment

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